by Donna Concha
Photographs and editing by Sunni
Sometime in late 2000, Donna came up with a
truly simple cane with the most enchanting results. Immediately many
of us picked her brains when she dropped into the Polymer Clay
Central chatroom. So while we were visiting, she cobbled up a quick
and dirty tutorial for her "Confetti Cane" and emailed it to the lot
of us in the chatroom with her (see Donna's original instructions here!). I have hung onto that cane tutorial,
used it and taught it with great delight. With Donna's blessing, I
am making this more explicit tutorial available so you can enjoy
this extremely simple cane, too!
This tutorial will not be giving you exact
amounts as it is the technique we're teaching, not a project. The
amounts are really unimportant, it's how you combine them. The cane
in this tutorial is also quite small. The total amount of clay is
between 2-3 ounces.
Several different colors for the
confetti. Just a blob of each will work fine.
an amount roughly equal to the total of all the others.
tool: Tissue blade, razor blade, scissors, knife....
Something to roll the clay reasonable flat: Pasta
machine, jar, rolling pin....
NOTE: This is one of
those canes where it doesn't matter what brand you use or if you use
more than one brand! So mix away! For this tutorial I used all
|Step 1: Using #2 on an Atlas (medium thick) or typing paper guides
folded into eighths as shown here,
roll your translucent into a long, flat sheet and cut it in half.
Set them aside, but within reach. Roll
all your color blobs into long narrow sheets the same
Cut the narrow color sheets into strips
about 1/8" wide and set them aside.
When you've finished making strips, lay
one of the translucent sheets in front of you.
|Step 2: Next, lay the strips in a row on the diagonal in a color
sequence pleasing to you. It's not really important what colors go
where, nor is it important to be neat. Just slap them down there.
You can flatten them if you wish, roll them into a snake, leave them
as they are, squeeze and pull them into irregular strips.... *grin*
There are no hard and fast rules with this cane.
When you have them arranged, cut the
strips along the edge of the translucent and pull the excess away.
We'll be using them in the next step.
Step 3: Now place the remaining strips on top of the first ones on
the opposite diagonal. Again, you can be free form or follow the
tutorial exactly. Press the top layer of strips down firmly so they
flatten somewhat. Or completely if you prefer.
|Step 4: Now place the other layer of translucent on top. Start at one
corner on one end and work slowly back and forth pressing firmly and
rummaging around with your fingers to make sure there aren't any air
pockets between the two sheets of translucent.
|Step 5: When you're finished, it should look like the picture on the
|Step 6: Using the back of my tissue blade, I pressed a dent
just up from the edge on the end where you will be starting your
jellyroll. Don't be shy, just press that puppy in there. What you're
doing is creasing the clay to make it easier to start the jellyroll
without air bubbles! (Thank you Leigh, NEAT trick.)
|Step 7: Use your thumb and start the jellyroll by pushing the end
back up and over the crease. Roll that baby up. Keep it tight so you
don't get any air bubbles.
|Step 8: If you have any
extra translucent you can snip it off with your cutting tool, but
this step is optional. One of my favorite tools with clay is
scissors!! I use several different sizes!!
Now you can reduce your cane or not. For
directions on how to reduce, go here,
(thank you Leigh and Squiggy!).
|Step 9: Here's the finished cane,
In my experience with this cane, no matter how
closely I think I am following it, I never make two canes the same
way, even if I use the same color palette! I've used it with
American Southwest colors, the rainbow as shown here, browns with
black - the list is endless. Add inclusions to the transparent.
Leave the transparent (as I do) out of the strips, maybe a layer of
Fiesta paints on one side of the "sandwich." Go nuts folks.
|Here's a picture of a votive (left) I covered
with the cane made in this tutorial before reducing it.
Here's a picture of a 16 ounce jar (right) I
covered with the cane made in this tutorial after reducing it to a
little more than 1/4 inch.
Here are some items Donna Concha covered!!!
They are just wowzers, don'cha think?!! Click on the thumbnail to
pop up a closer look.