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Creating a Polymer Clay Bowl - What is A Cane?

In my product listings, you've probably seen me say that I used polymer clay canes to create a bowl, plate, or jewelry tray. What does this mean, you ask? Well, a cane is a length of clay which has a design running throughout its length, meaning that each slice taken from that cane will be exactly the same. This post will demonstrate how I make a leaf cane. My next post will cover how I make a bowl using this cane.


To start, I need some blocks of colored polymer clay, a tissue blade, and a pasta machine or an acrylic rod for rolling.


Step 1: I rolled out two different colors of clay into sheets, cut those into triangles and butted them up against each other.  I passed these through the pasta machine.

Step 2: I folded this new sheet up on itself and passed it through the pasta machine several times, folding it again each time.

Step 3:This is after 12 passes through the pasta machine. You can see in the photo that the colors are starting to blend. But we're not there yet, gotta keep going...

Step 4: After 25 passes through the pasta machine, we now have a nice smooth gradient which is ready to use!


I rolled the gradient out on a thin setting on the pasta machine to make a very long, thin sheet of clay.

I rolled this up into a log shape with the light green at the center.

I stood this "log" up on end and cut it into four pieces.

I added a thin sheet of gold between each piece for veins, and reassemble the pieces together.

With the log on end again, I cut it in half on the diagonal and flipped one side so the veins would create a "V" toward the center.

I added a center "vein" and reassemble the pieces together.

This cane is large and somewhat awkwardly shaped right now - time for me to reduce it! Reducing involves squeezing, pinching, and pulling the cane to make it smaller and longer. Every so often, I cut it in half and save one half of the length to use later in case I need a larger size.

About an hour after starting this cane, I have a nice collection of leaf canes in small, medium, and large sizes, ready to use.

The basic process is the same for all canes, like this pretty flower cane:

In my next post, I will show how I use these canes to make a bowl. Stay tuned!


Great post!

Thank you! This was a great post!

Awesome Stuff!

Thanks for sharing this Kate! I spent part of my Saturday making this and had a fun time. Your instructions were clear and very easy to put into action. Thanks again!
Dani from your drywall service

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