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Leah's Crazy Cane
Here's a terrific cane idea from first-time contributor Leah Fisch that will be a great addition to your polymer "bag of tricks"!
Let's hear from Leah...

I discovered the Crazy Cane by accident some years ago. While conditioning a ball of scrap clay for a project, I was distracted by the fascinating color combinations that emerged. I sliced through the ball of scrap discovering amazing patterns with every slice. After a number of failed 'repeat' attempts, the Crazy Cane was born. What do YOU do with all your clay scraps?

This is a two-part tutorial. Part 1, the Crazy Cane, can be used as is. Part 2 takes your results from part 1 on a 'crazy' ride for even more fascinating results.

The best thing about this project, you canít really 'mess up'.

Required tools:
  • Smooth work surface
  • Rolling Pin or pasta machine
  • Super slicer
  • Clay scraps
Part 1: The Crazy Cane

1. Assemble your tools and the best of your clay scraps and choose at least 3 contrasting colors. You can use any size/number of scraps for this project. Color note: Try to keep the colors/sizes balanced so that you will have an even distribution of color in your final project.
(For this demo I will use the 3 primary colors: Red, Blue, Yellow)

2. Condition and roll each clay scrap into a ball.

3. Combine your scrap balls into one larger ball...

3. ...Cont'd

4. Roll the giant scrap ball into a log.

5. Fold your log over 2-3 times, twist the strands together...

...and roll again

6. Use your super slicer to cut your log in half. If the pattern is to your liking, you are done...

...If not, crumple the pieces into a ball, and roll into a log again.

7. Continue twisting, rolling, and crumpling your scraps into a ball. Be sure to check the progress each time to prevent over-mixing lest you wind up with a brownish unfriendly cane.
8. When you are satisfied with the result reduce your cane to the desired diameter. Set aside to cool (I put my canes in the refrigerator) then slice and decorate as you would with any polymer cane. This is ideal for projects like beads, earrings, nail art and more, like the...
Click Picture for a Larger View

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Crazy Cane Pen - To make a Crazy Cane pen cut the slices thicker than usual. Apply slices to the barrel of your pen (I use standard BIC stick pens) leaving wide gaps between slices. This will allow the colors to spread and blend into a magnificent pattern as shown.
Click Picture for a Larger View

Use a single slice to cover the top portion of the pen and blend the seams evenly.
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I use the ink barrel as a 'mini rolling pin'. Fill in any gaps by adding additional slices.
Click Picture for a Larger View

Bake, sand, buff, and finish your project in the normal manner
Part 2: Crazy Swirl Cane (from your Crazy Cane)

1. Cut the Crazy Cane in half with your super slicer. Roll into a flat sheet using your rolling pin or pasta machine.

2. Starting at the narrow end of your sheet, carefully roll the sheet jelly-roll style being careful to avoid trapping large air bubbles.

3. This is the cane fully rolled up.

4. Reduce your Ďfatí Crazy Swirl Cane to the desired diameter.

5. Then slice, and apply to your projects as before. Following are some of those projets...
Following are some of the projects I've made with the Crazy Cane...
(Click the Pictures for a Larger View)
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by Leah Fisch
©2011 Text and Photos

We want to thank Leah for sharing this excellent project lesson 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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