with Sue Heaser
Flower canes are easy to create from polymer clay and make beautiful jewellery. You will need the following materials and tools:
- Polymer clay: ¼ block each of white, violet and black. Small quantity of golden yellow
- Roller or pasta machine
- Slicer blade
Make a blend using the white and violet clay. Roll the blend thinner into a long strip with the white at one end and the violet at the other. Roll from the white end to make a cane with a light centre.
It does not matter if the end of the roll or the edges are ragged â€“ this will not be noticeable in the finished cane.
Roll out a sheet of black clay and lay the cane on one edge. Trim the black sheet into a rectangle that is the same width as the length of the cane as shown.
Roll up the cane in the black sheet until the edge of the sheet touches itself and makes a slight mark. Unroll a little and trim the sheet at this point.
Roll up again fully and butt the edges of the black sheet together, smoothing them down.
Lay the cane on your work surface and roll it smoothly to thin it and extend it to about 25cms long. It needs to be an even thickness all along its length.
Trim the distorted ends of the cane and cut it into 5 equal pieces about 5cms long.
Pinch the top of each short length into a point all along its length to give it a triangular cross-section. These will form the petals of the flower.
Roll a log of golden yellow clay, 5cms long and 5mm thick. Press the pointed sides of two of the petal lengths together and press the yellow log onto them. The flower will begin to appear at both ends in the cross section of the piece.
Continue adding petal canes, pressing the pointed side onto the yellow log all along the length of each. If the petal canes do not touch the yellow all along their length, The flower will appear distorted when the cane is sliced.
The cane now needs to be â€œreducedâ€; that is, made longer and its cross section therefore reduced. Round canes can simply be rolled to reduce them but the flower cane has indentations between the petals and it is attractive to retain these. To reduce an irregular cross-section cane like this, it is best to reduce it by squeezing and pulling it to the required length.
Cut it in half when the cane is about 15mm diameter all along its length. The flower is revealed. You can now reduce one half of the cane further for smaller flowers and cut slices as required for your project.
The image, below, shows the detail of the blend.
These pretty flowers can now be used for any number of items. They can be pierced (before baking) and wired together to make jewellery, rolled onto the surface of a bead or sliced more thinly for decoration on vases, boxes and even book covers!