|Step 1: Make a skinner blend with your two chosen colors of clay. For best results there should be a definite light side and dark side to your blend. Here I have used Premo! sap green and a 50/50 mix of white and ecru to create my blend
||Step 2: Cut your blend in half to create two strips of about the same size. Roll each strip through your pasta machine on gradually thinner settings until you have 2 long strips shaded light to dark.
|Step 3: Roll each strip into a skinner bull's-eye cane. Make sure to roll one from dark to light and the other light to dark.
||Step 4: Using your blade, slice each skinner cane into thin segments as shown. Do NOT worry about each segment being the same size, as some variation will add to the realistic look of your leaf. Each of these canes was sliced into 9 pieces, but more or less will work well, too.
|Step 5: Alternating dark and light, stack the two sets of slices into one stack. It does not matter which cane you start with, the light to dark or dark to light. Continue layering the slices together until they are all used up.
|Step 6: You should now have a stack of stripes. Compress and shape this stack into a rounded cane shape. Roll lightly on your work surface to make sure all layers are tightly stuck together.
||Step 7: You should now have a striped cane.
|Step 8: Take your blade and cut diagonally across the stripes, as you would for a traditional leaf cane.
||Step 9: Lay a piece of contrasting color clay along this cut to create a center vein. I used gold clay. Add a second half piece to make the center vein thicker at the bottom. Be sure to smooth out the edge of the second piece of clay so there are no harsh edges -- this will assist in the realistic look of the leaf.
|Step 10: Now flip over one side of the cane and put the two pieces together. The stripes should now form a V or chevron shape down the center of the cane.
||Step 11: Wrap your cane in a contrasting color. I recommend the same color as the center vein, in this case gold. Leave a small gap in the wrap along the bottom seam of the cane as a registration mark. Take a pinch of clay in a slightly different color; here I used a pinch of the green, and roll a thin snake. Place this snake as a registration line along the top seam of the cane. These registration lines aid in reducing the cane - as long as the lines are straight you know which direction the leaf is facing. The registration marks will not show in the finished work once the cane is reduced and sliced thin. The line along the top will aid in shaping the reduced cane so that the vein stays centered.
Step 12: Reduce your cane to the desired size, and pinch along the
top registration line to shape into a leaf. Violá! A Striped Leaf!