Patchwork Cane Ornament

This looks like a complex way to cover a glass ball ornament.  However, if you follow the steps one at a time, the geometry of covering the round surface isn’t as complicated as it looks.

You can use this pattern for any geometric square cane. These canes were made from the November 2014 issue of Cane Builder.

Step 1:  Press four slices of a square cane onto the middle of the ornament.  Check the slices from every angle to see if they are even in all directions.

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Step 2: Reduce the cane a little and add them to the top and bottom of the first cane slice.  Imagine a line going from the center of the top of the ornament down to the bottom.  There is usually a slight bump at the bottom of the ornament.

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Step 3:  Repeat step 2 with even smaller slices.

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Step 4:  Make a triangle cane to fit in-between the squares.  I handmade two triangles of the background color.  I also added a strip of clay to the bottom.  You can see it if you look closely.

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Step 6:  Reduce this triangle until it fits in-between each set of squares.  This will take a little squishing and stretching because one side of the triangle will need to be larger as the other side tappers down to the smaller end.

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I cut the tiny triangles in half to finish up all the way to the top.canework ornament8

Step 7: Use a square cane to fill in-between the stripes.  Optional:  if you want to change the direction of pattern, (like a diamond shape) add triangles to make a bigger square.  These could be a background color, or other geometric triangle cane.

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Step 8: Reduce the cane further and reshape it to fit the curve in the glass.

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Step 9: Fill in the little spaces left over with solid color.  I either slice these from a solid color cane that I formed to fit, or cut them out of a sheet that I run through the pasta machine.

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Optional:  This is a very tricky step!  Proceed with caution 🙂

I shave off parts of the surface with a tissue blade to even out the cane slices.  A lot of the finishing just takes practice.  I find each ornament I make is a little better, but none of them are perfect.  It’s still worth it!

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Once the ornament is baked I sand it starting with 60 grit and working down to 1500.  Sometimes I try to get away with not sanding it.  The main reason I sand is because the off-white seems to get a film of red on it while I work.  The sanding process cleans up the colors beautifully!

polymer clay patchwork cane ornament

For an entirely different approach, try these ornaments from the bonus tutorial with Cane Builder.

sky ship balloons

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One Response to Patchwork Cane Ornament

  1. Pingback: Елочная игрушка с узорами из глины | Уроки лепки

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