Glowing Polymer Clay Water Lily

My friend Andy is a fisherman. He had these tiny little glow sticks that you can buy online for fishing poles. He asked if we could find a way to use them in a clay creation. This is what we made! It’s a water lily with a glowing center. We pressed a glow stick into the clay to make seven little holes. After we baked the lily, we set glow sticks in all the little holes.

Water Lily how-toPolymer clay water lily lampGlowing water lilyPolymer clay glow stick lily

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Polymer Clay Tranlucent Lace Canes

Here are some fun ways to layer canes. These are translucent and solid color canes.

Pansy cane tutorial, Daisy cane tutorial, Butterfly tutorial (hidden in the lampwork tute)

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I tried these canes on forms to make hollow beads!

hollow lace formshollow lacehollow lace pansy

Here is the lace tutorial itself. It happens to come with a fun sparkle cane!

Polymer clay lace tutorialpink sparkle9

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Polymer clay flower pendants

A subscriber, Peggy Rose, sent me some beautiful pictures. Many of you send me pictures and I am very grateful. Here is the tutorial

Peggy RosePeggy's blue flowersPeggy's daffodilPeggy's pansiesPeggy's pink flowersPeggy's white flowers

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Relational Growth For Enneagram Type 4

Since all of you who read my blog are artists, and since so many artists are Type 4 on the Enneagram, I thought I’d share some of the personal things I’ve been learning.

It’s your job to bring your creative intense self to relationships without demanding that they see or appreciate or understand or agree. It’s your job to trust that they love you. To let the love in. To laugh with them. It’s your job to trust that they see and appreciate more than you think they do. They are on your side and will champion and protect your creativity even when you give up. They need your perspective, your kindness, your gratitude and your brand of creativity. Let go. You don’t need to protect or control it. It flows from you like a bubbling fountain, a gentle sunrise. You don’t even need to look at it. Trust that it is there.

You don’t need an external endorsement. You are.

It’s your job to encourage and hope and dream. To be a beautiful old soul reminding others of another country.

It’s your job to believe that you are whole. That the longings in your heart do not overpower you but rather are the stars to light your sky. The fireflies right here in your own campground. They are the treasure map you follow right here in the everyday.

It’s your job to delight in your garden. To plant, to delight, to wait. To harvest and eat and call it good.

When you feel depressed and bored and empty, it doesn’t mean that’s what you are. There is no imperative for you to change that to protect your identity or worth.

You can be love. Let the love in.

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Polymer Clay Daffodil Murrine Canes

This back issue of Cane Builder has several flowers. The technique itself has countless possibilities. I don’t think I’ve ever seen polymer clay canes used like this before. When I realized what could be done, I was dreaming in possibilities all night! I was especially surprised with the result when I tried daffodils! Here are my beads and a tin covered by a subscriber, Sylvia DeCosta

daffodil beadsDaffodil tin

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Polymer Clay Star and Cross Pattern Egg

This cane is from this month’s Cane Builder, but it could be done with any square cane. I just found out this can be done with plastic eggs as well! Whatever you do, be sure to poke a small pinhole to let the air escape as it expands with the heat.

Polymer clay green and purple canestar and cross egg1

star and cross egg2star and cross3star and cross4star and cross5star and cross6star and cross7star and cross8

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Paper Art Inspiration

Quilled paper is so beautiful! An image search will have you drooling in no time. Unfortunately I can’t possibly add one more item to my craft supply collection. I love the fact that being cane designer allows me to draw inspiration from many different art forms. Here are some of the images from this “Quilled Cane” Tutorial.  I’d love to see this technique applied to other designs and color schemes. This is only one of many tutorials that I would love to go back and elaborate on. However, as I am busy coming up with a new offering each month, I’ll leave it to you all to take it from here!

Polymer clay quilled mandalaquilled butterfliespolymer clay quilled flower canefb quilled canesPolymer Clay Quilled Cane Butterfly


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Windmill Quilt Block Cane in Polymer Clay

If you have fun with this post, come check out this month’s Cane Builder cane.

Notice that the triangles are different from each other. The colored triangles are the same size and shape, but the white is different. On one, the white is a right triangle exactly like the green. On the other, the white is a four sided shape with one of the sides at a slant to make the pink triangle into a larger triangle. It is important to copy the angles correctly.

Windmill cane

Here’s another version that I actually like better. I have to admit, I assemble these wrong every time and I have to cut them up and try again! It’s so hard to get the light color on the right part of the triangle.

There is a tiny video on the blended triangles on the polymerclayworkshop instagram. Sorry I can’t post it here. basically, you just stack a skinner blend into a block and squish two corners together to turn it into a triangle.

new pinwheel cane polymer clay pinwheel cane

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Millefiori Fondant Canes

I’ve never used fondant before, but for years now I’ve wanted to try making fondant canes! I finally picked up some pre-packaged fondant at the craft store because I was too lazy to make my own. It’s certainly different from polymer clay, but I found it to be more workable and forgiving than I expected. Of course, I’ve had many years of cane-making practice, so I have no idea what this would be like for a beginner. I made the fondant canes almost the same way I did in this tutorial  with a few differences. I painted a very thin layer of water between layers of color to make sure the sheets stuck together. I was able to reduce the canes a little, but for the most part I sliced them at the same size they were assembled. I used the same type of tools I use with clay, but brand new tools! Never eat anything made with the same tools or work surface you use with polymer clay. The tissue blade is necessary to slice clean slices. I thought I would need a pasta machine, but the fondant rolled out beautifully with just an acrylic roller. I use these tools only because I don’t know about cake making stuff. I sliced the triangles separately (rather than putting them all together before slicing as I did in the tute) and placed them on a base sheet of fondant. Again, a very small amount of water between pieces helps things stick. I also worked it and warmed it up in my hands. It is not easy to get things smooth. When I first sliced the canes, the face of the slices looked a little dull. They were also a little squished. I had to work each slice back to a nice shape before I could add it to the the sheet.

Once the cake was covered I rubbed it down with vegetable shortening on a paper towel.

Fondant Cake ToolsFondant Millefiori Zendoodle CakeFondant Zentangle Millefiori

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Polymer Clay Coffee or Tea Cup Canes

Brought to you by my Cane Builder subscribers. Thank you!!!

Step 1: Make a grey to white blend (or any color blend you want). You will be slicing it according to the marks indicated. Don’t worry about size as much a approximate proportion.

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Step 2: Stat with the biggest piece.

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Step 3: Form it into the shape you want for the side of the cup. You can change the shape as you go.

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Step 4: Slice four thin slices. This part isn’t entirely necessary, but I like the way it looks. The rim should be very thin. I’ve been very particular about where I want the dark and light, so I’ve added some extra steps.

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Step 5: Lay the slices end to end with dark and light touching.

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Step 7: Slice off part of one dark end as shown above. Attach it at the other end.

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Step 8: Cut this newly arranged strip in half.

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Step 9: Add one half to the cup shape. Match dark to light and light to dark. Notice the darkest part isn’t exactly touching the lightest part. It will take some work to get it to fit. If necessary, slice off some of the edge to make it fit.

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Step 10: Pinch the side of a log of brown clay so that the end looks like a football shape.

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Step 11: Cut off the ends of this shape to make it fit and to make nice, crisp, edges. Even thought the pictures show the next three steps attached to the main project, it may be easier to make the coffee, inside wall, and rim all together first and make sure there is a smooth curved edge to add to the cup.

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Step 12: Form the next largest section into a thin, curved line that will look like the inside wall of the cup. The light and dark should be opposite from the big side of the cup. Leave room for the rim.

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Step 13: Add The rest of the rim. Make sure it looks seamless with the bottom part of the rim. Thats why I said earlier, that you may want to put these three parts together first and then make them all fit the cup together.

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Step 14: Now for the handle. Place the last two piece together with the white touching. Squish these together very well. Otherwise they will come apart. Cut off the darkest part of one end. This little piece will not be used.

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Step 15: Attach a teardrop shape of the background color to the side of the cup. Wrap this with the bend that has been formed into a handle. Make sure it’s the shape and size you want. You make have to further squish or slice some off.

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Step 16: Pack in the background. Here are a few pictures of how I did it.

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Please come see what’s happening at Cane Builder this month!


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