Caning was something that never really appealed to me (probably because I thought they were just used for making beads), until I saw some beautiful examples of work on the internet, where thin slices from canes had been placed in over-lapping layers – this really appealed to me, so I thought I would give it a try. For my first attempt, I chose to try making ‘ghost’ canes using translucent polymer clay, as I wanted to see how this would look if I rolled it into a coloured clay base.
I made a ‘jellyroll’ cane with white and translucent pc and a simple flower cane with a 50/50 mix of white/pearl and translucent pc. Here is a slice of each of my first canes – I think they are not bad for a first attempt.
Had to keep putting the canes in the fridge because the weather is quite warm at the moment and I noticed that they soon became quite soft on handling, which made them harder to slice. I am not too concerned at them looking perfect, as they will get distorted when I roll them into the surface of the coloured clay.
I just put thin slices on the surface of the pink tile (so the pieces are raised), as this tile had already been baked. I think they look better when they are rolled flush into the surface, as in the blue-green tiles. The pasta machine greatly distorts the shape of the cane, which creates some interesting if unexpected results. Carefully pressing with a roller, equally in all directions, helps to keep the original shape. I will need to practice more to get the really layered effect I am thinking of.