Clay Tutorial: Applying Canes to Beads

Polymer Clay Tutorial: How to apply cane slices to make colorful clay beads.In my last post I showed you how to make an extruder cane with polymer clay. I like this design because it's dynamic and changes color as you slice the cane into pieces.

If you are new to polymer clay crafts, you may be wondering how exactly you transform a cane like this into a bead. One method is to apply thin slices of the cane to a clay core. Let me show you how.

Materials


Directions

As always, when working with clay, take off your jewelry so you don't get any bits squished into your rings and protect your work surface. I like to use parchment paper.

Polymer Clay Tutorial: How to apply cane slices to make colorful clay beads. Begin by using the blade in your bead making kit to cut your cane into slices that are 1-2 mm thick.

Expert tip: If your clay is smearing when you cut it simply place the cane in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to cool it down.
Once your cane is sliced, measure the width or diameter of the cane.Take a piece of clay and make a ball that is about the same width/diameter of the cane.

I use the clay leftover from making the cane for this part. It doesn't really matter what color you use because you won't be able to see the clay core at the end.
Since this is a square cane slice, it's helpful to form the core into a small cube.
Apply a cane slice to each side  of the cube.
Don't forget to add slices to the top and bottom, too.
Gently press the canes onto the inner core.

You will notice that you can still see the seams between the cane slices. You'll need to blend those so they become invisible.
You can use the roller from the bead making kit to gentle roll side to side across the seam to press the clay edges together.

For more control (and less squishing) I like to use a metal knitting needle to roll out the seams.
Afterwards, the seam is virtually invisible.
Roll out the remaining seams in the same fashion.
Gently press in the corners of the cube and roll the clay into a ball.

You want to use a very light pressure so you don't smoosh the design.
Finally, pierce the bead and bake according to the package directions on the clay.

After baking, let your beads cool completely. If you can still see any signs of the seams between the cane slices, simply use the sand paper from the bead making kit to lightly buff them out.

Here are the beads I made with the extruder cane in two different colors.

Polymer Clay Tutorial: How to apply cane slices to make colorful clay beads.


Polymer Clay Tutorial: How to apply cane slices to make colorful clay beads.

What should I use these for? Bracelets, necklaces or earrings? Maybe I'll make a matching jewelry set.

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The Chilly Dog: Clay Tutorial: Applying Canes to Beads
Clay Tutorial: Applying Canes to Beads
Polymer Clay Tutorial: How to apply cane slices to make colorful clay beads.
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