with Sue Heaser
A simple leaf polymer clay cane will set off your millefiori flowers to perfection. This delightful bracelet was made by threading wire through millefiori flower slices and linking them with wire that has been threaded through leaf shaped cane slices.
To make a soft leaf green from bright green clay, simply add a little brown or black clay and mix well. Try adding yellow to make a green for new leaves or blue to make a blue-green.
Materials and Tools
Roll the green clay into a sheet about 3mm thick. Roll out the black clay into a much thinner sheet about 1mm thick. Trim the green sheet into a rectangle, about 8cms x 4cms and set aside the scraps for later. Lay the green sheet on the black sheet (which will be larger because it is thinner).
Trim round the edges of the green sheet so that the black sheet is exactly the same size as the green sheet.
Cut the resulting rectangle in half across the middle and stack one piece on top of the other.
Cut the block in half again and again stack one piece on top of the other. It should now be eight sheets high, alternating black and green.
Roll the remaining green scraps of clay into a 3mm thick sheet, apply it to the bottom of the block and trim it to size. The block should now have its top and bottom layers green. Cut the block in half to give two cubes about 2cms x 2cms x 2cms. Do not worry if the dimensions are different to this, leaves can be any size. You just need a cube of green and black layers to proceed to the next stage.
Stand the cube on its side and cut it in half along the diagonal as shown. You can use the second block for another cane.
Roll out a sheet of black clay, 1mm thick. Lay one of the half blocks on this, diagonal cut side down and trim round.
Flip the second half block and press its cut side against the black sheet of the first half. The lines of the layers should make a chevron as shown. If they do not, you have not flipped the half block in the right way so turn it until it looks like the one in the photograph.
With the chevron pattern at each end, squeeze the block to elongate it into a cane, taking care to retain the square cross-section. Now reduce the cane by pinching and squeezing all along its length, still keeping the square cross section. Continue until it is about 1cm thick.
Cut the cane in half to reveal the leaf image. You can reduce one half further for smaller leaves if you wish.
Squeeze the cane gently all along its length into a leaf-shape cross section. It is now ready for slicing and using in your project.
Ideas for using your Polymer Clay Cane Slices
- Make very thin slices, bake (cure) and use for nail art
- Make thick slices of 5mm or more to use as beads (don’t forget to make the hole before you bake!)
- Apply thin slices to the surface of a rolled bead. Roll the bead again and the slice will merge with the unbaked polymer clay. Add a hole and bake.
- Bake the slices and use to decorate glass jars, phone cases, laptops, greeting cards or (keeping with the leaf theme) plant labels and plant pots!