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I thought it was time that I made another polymer clay cane tutorial especially as cane work is one of my favourite things to make and, whilst I am currently in a summery mood, it was inevitably going to be a flower cane.
If you saw my random ramblings on my first YouTube crafty vlog (currently my first and last but I do have more recorded!) then you would have seen some of the planning that went into this polymer clay flower cane. You may also be aware that I had planned on my finished flower to look like a daisy. I think that I possibly failed on that one as the week that I filmed the tutorial rapidly faded into being one of those weeks (think emergency vets and water coming through the ceiling) so that is my defence but the finished flower is just too lovely not to share with you.
To make the flower more interesting but not overly complicated, I made a skinner blend so that the petals fade up from pale blue to white. I also show in the tutorial how to make a spotty patterned flower centre but I didn’t have enough contrast between my clay colours and all that lovely detail was lost once I had reduced the cane. So, if you want to have a simple yellow flower centre to your cane then it will work just as well and that’s one less step to worry about and your cane will be ready even quicker!
Because the week was a little rushed I have, for this tutorial, taken the still photos from my YouTube video (as opposed to making the cane a second time and photographing it as I go along). It’s not something I like doing as I worry that the pictures won’t be as clear but the YouTube video should hopefully clear up any confusion if needs be.
I have used my easy skinner blend flower cane to make an array of earrings and necklaces for my Etsy shop. I love how bright and fun they all look and the cane works well for both big bold earrings as well as individual beads.
I’ll stop going on now about my cane and just show you how it is made…..
How To Make A Polymer Clay Skinner Blend Flower Cane
I started this cane by working on the skinner blend that will form the petals. Begin by conditioning your white clay well. Set some aside and add a little blue so that you have a relatively pale for the centre part of the petal. Using some card make yourself a little template for your skinner blend. To do this cut a square that has 8cm sides. Measure one side at 7.5cm (my photo says 7cm but yes, it was one of those weeks!) and the opposite side needs to be 3.5cm Cut between these points. Your other piece of card should now measure 0.5cm on one side and 4.5cm on the other.
Roll both the white and blue clay through your clay machine on the thickest setting and make sure your templates fit – the white has the bigger template and the blue the smaller. Cut around the template and push both pieces of clay together so that they form a complete square. You can use a roller to gently roll these pieces so that they stick together.
To begin the skinner blend, carefully pick up your clay and fold in half so that the white clay corners are matched up together and the blue corners are matched up together.
Using either an acrylic roller or a clay machine, roll your clay working your way up from the folded edge. Rolling it this way will push air out of the fold of the clay. Match the corners again with white to white and blue to blue and continue to fold and roll in this way. If you are using a clay machine keep it on the thickest setting.
When you see your clay colours starting to blend take the clay machine down onto the next setting and continue to fold and roll. My colours blended easily on this setting.
Cut the sides of your clay if the clay has become uneven but do not fold the clay in half. Instead, reduce the thickness again on the clay machine (down to a number 3) and pass the clay through with the blue side going through first. This will both lengthen and reduce the thickness of the clay at the same time. Take the clay machine down to a number 4 and roll the clay through again, starting from the blue end.
Next, press some of the blue clay onto your work surface and concertina the clay. Press the air out of the folds of clay and then smooth out the corners to make a more rounded shape whilst being careful not to twist the clay.
Reduce your clay so until it measures just over 16cm long. Make sure that the clay doesn’t twist (the white and blue clay need to stay in line) as this will make forming the petals hard.
Once the clay is long enough lay the clay on it’s side, so that half the white and half the blue is showing, and gently press along it’s length so that the clay starts to form more of an oval shape. Pinch along the blue end so that it forms a slightly more pointed shape.
Cut your clay into 8 x 2cm pieces.
Make a mix of pale blue clay from 3 parts white to 1 part navy blue clay. It is important to remember the exact ratio of this mix of clay as this will also be the base colour for the finished beads and pendant pieces. Roll this pale blue mix out on a number 7 on your clay machine. Pick up one of your petals cut a piece of pale blue clay at the same length as the petal shape.
Position one end of this blue clay so that it is along the blue end but doesn’t cover the blue tip of the petal.
Continue to wrap the blue clay over the top of the white clay and over onto the other side. Cut the clay so that it finishes in line with the pale blue clay on the other side. Repeat this by wrapping 3 more petals in the pale blue clay and position them so that they alternate with the unwrapped petals. When the cane is reduced this will stop the petals from merging together.
Take some yellow clay and condition it well. Roll it into a thick snake of clay. I rolled mine so that it would fit the middle of my flower shape. If you don’t wish to add definition to the flower centre then just add this yellow clay and progress onto packing your cane ready for reducing.
If you want some detail in your flower centre then condition some green clay and roll it out onto a number 7 on your clay machine. Lay the yellow cane on one end. Make sure your green and yellow have a far better colour contrast than mine as this detail was lost when I reduced my cane.
Make a bulls eye cane with the yellow in the centre and a layer of green around it and reduce your cane until you can cut 7 even pieces of roughly 2cm long. Position these pieces so that there is one piece in the middle and 6 pieces surrounding it and then reduce down to merge the joins together.
Cut this yellow and green cane into 3 pieces and reduce these together until it is the right size to fit in the flower centre with the petals surrounding it snugly.
Roll more of the pale blue clay that was used to surround the 4 petal shapes through on a number 7 on the clay machine and wrap around the top of the 4 remaining white petals. Continue on packing the cane by rolling snakes of clay in the same pale blue clay and pushing it down in between the petals.
The aim of packing around the cane is to ensure that when the cane is reduced the details remain in tact (ie, the petal shapes don’t distort etc) so make sure that the petals are supported as well as they can be with clay and that the packing blue clay reaches the same height at the top of the petals.
Reduce your cane down by squeezing from the middle and working down the length of the cane to get out any trapped air and then eventually rolling it.
Cut into it and your cane will be ready to use for jewellery pieces.
If making jewellery pieces from you polymer clay canes is new to you then I have a whole tutorial here on how to use your polymer clay cane for beads and pendants.
I have a few more flower cane tutorials if this has got you interested in trying a few more; there is this perfect, very beginner friendly, easy flower cane which uses cutting shapes to form the cane, a fun tropical flower cane where the flower petals have a colour changing outline and a polymer clay rose cane tutorial which uses a skinner blend to add depth to the flower petals.
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Fimo Professional White, Navy Blue, Yellow and Sap Green
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and you are now eager to reach for your polymer clay and have a go. I am now thinking about further tutorials and wondering where to go from here. I am quite alarmed to think that I may need to be thinking about some Autumnal and Winter themed projects but I am not sure that I’m ready to move on from Summer just yet!
Thanks for reading,