Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

Material Inspiration


I do not make canes with polymer clay.  It just isn’t something that I fancy for myself.  I have made some basic canes (stripes, checkerboard, bullseyes) but rarely anything complex.  So I’m not sure what prompted me to make canes this weekend.  Perhaps it was my desire to take a break from making wine bottle stoppers.  Perhaps it was the two logs of scrap clay that have been resting on my work table waiting for rejuvination.  Whatever it was, here is what I did and the results:

I started with scraps of leftover clay that I rolled into a log and twisted till it swirled.  Then I put the log into a clay extruder with a square die and extruded it. Twisted clay 


The extruded clay was cut into 16 pieces of equal length and restacked into a 4 x 4 square.  This square was then wrapped with two layers of contrasting clay, cut on a diagonal into four equal pieces and reassembled.  Then I wrapped the cane again with a single layer of white clay.

4×4   Wrapped stack   Cut and reassemble

(NOTE: If you do not have an extruder, you could roll your scraps into a log, 1″ in diameter, and square it up.  Or use a solid color log of clay.) 

I decided to add a little more color to my cane.  I cut the cane vertically and inserted a sheet of red pearl clay.  Then I made two horizontal cuts and inserted two more sheets of red pearl clay, compressed the cane and started reducing it.

Vertical color   Horizontal cuts

I reduced the cane, cut it into four equal pieces, inserted a thin log of red pearl clay at the center point where all four cane pieces met, compressed and reduced it again.  Then the cane was cut in half one more time and I mirrored the images for the finished cane.

Reduce center color   Reduce assemble   The finished cane.

And here is this cane sliced and rolled into a sheet.

Plaid sheet

It definitely has a plaid/tartan feel to it though I’m not sure what Clan would claim it as their own.

Making this cane was fun and it will make some great cloth for art doll clothing.  I mentioned that I made two canes.  The second cane is not yet finished.  I’ll post that one later.

To see some wonderful canes made by wonderful polymer artists, visit:

Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg (Riverpoet Designs)

Sarah Shriver

Barbara Sperling

Jana Roberts Benzon

Karen Lewis (Klew)


2 thoughts on “Material Inspiration

  1. This is a great piece! I’ve done caning but nothing like this! Wow!

  2. Thanks Judy! Sometimes the muse strikes at the right time and the result is pretty neat. And other times the muse’s goal is to grow my scrap clay pile.
    Let me know if you try making a tartan inspired cane. I’d love to see what you make from it.


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