about polymer clay
Polymer clay comes in many colors which can be mixed to make any shade. It must be conditioned or softened before use and a pasta machine is very helpful for this as well as for blending colors or rolling out sheets of clay.
To make a cane with polymer clay, the colored clay is layered to form a log or tube where the design or pattern runs lengthwise through the cane so that each cross section has the same design. The design may be squeezed to compress the design, making it smaller. This is called reducing. The cane may be sliced very thin so there are multiples of the same image.
Another technique often used with polymer clay is to imitate a variety of materials such as stone, wood, abalone, etc. Polymer clay can also be textured, painted, silkscreened, or even have images transferred onto it.
Polymer clay is a very versatile art medium and there are many techniques to use this synthetic material. One of my favorite uses of polymer clay is cane making or “millefiori”. The concept of millefiori began with Italian glassmaking and the word means “thousand flowers” which is what some millefiori designs resemble. You may have seen glass paperweights or beads made like this.