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After you've made that beautiful flower cane, do you get discouraged when you try to put a background on it, and then it gets even worse when you try to reduce the cane? If so, then this tutorial by Israeli PCC member Tami Shvat is for you! She has an excellent method for wrapping canes and reducing them with minimum waste and distortion, and now she's sharing it with PCC!

Step 1: Here is my finished cane, before wrapping or reducing it. I put 6 petals around heavy dots in the center, with tiny stripes of yellow between the petals.
Step 2: Now I am going to wrap this "package". I pass my background color clay through the pasta machine on #3 (if the cane is very small I do it on number 4) and make a strip to...

Step 3: ... wrap the petals all together.

Step 4: Here's how it will look after the first wrap.
Step 5: Now take a thin skewer and push the polymer clay sheet into the spaces between the petals.
Step 6: Keep pushing the polymer clay sheet between the petals spaces, using the skewer.
Step 7: Turn the cane to its opposite side to make sure no space was forgotten.
Step 8: Now start adding small clay pieces around the cane to begin filling in the space between the petals and building the background. The size of the pieces doesn't matter.
Step 9: Do it until you complete a whole circle around the cane.
Step 10: This is how it should look when finished adding.
Step 11: Make another strip like you did in Step 2...
Step 12: ...and wrap it around the cane.
Step 13: This is how it will look, and now come the reducing steps.
Step 14: Notice the red lines that I draw on the hands. These are the exact places that we shall use for reducing, not the usual fist and fingers.
Step 15: Put the cane between your hands in a position as shown in the photo.
Step 16: Press in on the cane with both hands just once. Now release the cane for a second, then rotate it a little (pay attention to the colored lines). Positon your hands again and press in again. Keep the cane pressed to your work surface during the "pressing" as this will help prevent distortion and waste.
Step 17: Do this about 10 to 15 times
Step 18: Turn the cane upside down.
Step 19: Continue with the same pressing way for another 10 to 15 times.
Step 20: Turn it upside down again and press again. Repeat this process as many times as needed, until the cane begins to elongate.
Step 21: Continue reducing the cane to the desired size. If the cane is too long to be pressed between hands, you may cut it in two and work each pices separately.
Step 22: Here's the cane after finishing reducing - almost no waste!
Step 23: Cut the end off the reduced cane...

Step 24: ...and here is the finished cane -
almost no waste and no distortion!
by Tami Shvat
©2007 Text and Photos

We want to thank Tami for sharing this excellent tutorial with Polymer Clay Central. If you have a lesson or tutorial, or something you would like to share with PCC, please email Leigh or Stephen and we will help you prepare your project for the PCC Website!

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