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Simple Face Cane

By Jan Ruhnow
This will be a VERY basic face cane. Once you get the technique down, you can add more detail to the cane, such as eyebrows, whites of the eyes, more realistic lips, nose, etc. This lesson just gives you an idea of where to begin! For this project I've used Sculpey III mixed with transluscent Premo for the face color. I've also used blue, black, pink and brown Premo for the various features.

Step 1:
I begin with the eyes. Roll a small snake of black clay, and wrap with blue to form a bullseyes cane.

Step 2:
Wrap this blue/black cane with a sheet of the "face" color of clay to form yet another bullseye cane. Cut this cane in half to form the two eyes.
Step 3:
Make a snake with the flesh color clay. Take a small piece of brown and roll into a sheet. Wrap this sheet about halfway around the flesh color snake to form the nose. Next, wrap this new snake in a sheet of flesh color clay to complete the nose.

Step 4:
Repeat step 3 above using pink and flesh color to form the mouth. Gently flatten this snake. Using a wooden skewer, knitting needle or similar tool, roll out concave area in the snake. This area is where the nose will be placed in the cane.

Step 5:
Make another bullseye cane using light pink, wrapping it in the flesh colored clay. Cut this cane in half to form the cheeks.

Step 6:
Place the nose, mouth and cheeks in the position shown here (right). It's easiest to stand the canes on end when placing the features together in the cane so you can get a good view of how it will look. Be sure to flip the cane end for end making sure the canes line up on the other end as well.

Step 7:
Place two, tiny canes in the area above the nose. Place a larger, flattened cane on top of these canes.

Step 8:
Place the eyes as indicated below. Using various sizes of flesh colored snakes, begin to fill in the areas between the eyes and cheeks, cheeks and mouth etc. The idea here is to try to get the shape as round as possible while filling in areas of the face between the features.

Step 9:
Once the face area is filled in, begin to squeeze and compress the cane to insure there are no spaces in the face area. Then, wrap this entire cane in a sheet of face color clay.

Step 10:
Gently roll and reduce the cane just a bit. At this point I cut the cane in half, saving one half in the original size (left). Continue to reduce the other half of the cane.

Step 11:
Once you get the cane to the desired size, you can add various sheets of clay to form the hair. You might consider dividing the cane in half or quarters and adding different colors of hair to each section.

Use your imagination and have fun with this! No two faces are alike! Here's a few more face canes I've done (below). Some are very detailed while others are as simple as the lesson here. As I said, once you get the general can have a ball adding eyebrows, more detailed eyes and other features.

©2001-Jan Ruhnow

Thank you, Jan Ruhnow. You can Email Jan at or visit her Website at

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