with Sue Heaser
Decorating a polymer clay bicone shaped bead with self-made canes, adds to the diversity of bead making techniques.
Cane slices give bicone beads a wonderful central swirl to the bead. You will need the following tools and materials; a spiral cane (see here for how to make a spiral cane), polymer clay – in a contrasting or matching colour to the cane slices, a Perspex sheet about 4 in (10cm) square or a clear CD case and a large needle
First make a large round bead following the instructions here. The ideal size to get used to this technique is at least 1 in (25mm) diameter. Cut three slices from the spiral cane.
Apply the cane slices to the top half of the bead, positioning them evenly round the bead and leaving a space in the centre as shown.
Place your clear sheet over the bead and gently rotate it in a clockwise direction in the same way as for making a bicone bead – see the instructions here. You need to centre your rotating sheet in the middle of the three cane slices.
Continue rolling the bead with the sheet. The centre of the bead will become pointed and the cane slices will sink into the beadâ€™s surface. The slices will migrate towards the centre of the bead forming a central swirl.
The resulting bead showing the cane slices swirling towards the centre into a paisley pattern. You can now pierce the bead following the instructions in â€œBicone Beadsâ€.