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  • Favourite technique

    Now we've got our own room (thanks, Mom and Dad!) let's have some more topics.

    What's your favourite technique for polymer claying? I've only really tried a few out of the hundreds there are, but I love mica powders and stamping. I also love the effects you get out of alcohol inks and gold leaf, and mica shift, but I've never attempted them (okay, mica shift once, but it was terrible)
    ContinuumDesigns- artisan polymer clay beads for one-of-a-kind designs.

    The FHFTeam - featuring glass, jewellery and art handmade in the UK.

  • #2
    Cool thread idea!

    For me, nothing beats Millefiore caning. But probably because I thought I invented it! It was a few years before I found out that other people were also using Fimo to mimic glass bead making techniques and had been doing so for years. In fact, some where doing it before I was even born.

    There is something quite magical for me about making a patterned cane, reducing it down smaller and smaller and then taking that first exploratory slice to see the inside pattern in miniature.

    It doesn't matter how simple the cane, it still gives me a buzz. I keep promising myself that I will spend more time on canes, but of course I never get around to it what with everything else going on.

    But millefiore caning is very much my first love when it comes to polymer clay.

    I love all the techniques though. I love making Faux things, I love how polymer clay takes texture so well and so imprinting and moulding the clay is so supremely satisfying.

    I just ADORE embellishments like Perfect Pearls, Inks, Foils, glitters etc. As though clay were not pretty enough by itself, you can actually add oddles more pretty, sparkly things to it!

    There are some techniques that, while I admire them greatly, do nothing for me though.

    I think that the people who scupt with clay are amazing - be that realistic, cutesy - whatever the style. I always love seeing good examples of that type of work. But actually doing modelling and sculpting has never really grabbed me. I have dabbled here and there, but it never really ignited any flame in me.

    Likewise Mica Shift. I think of the work of early pioneers in this field such as Mike B. and Pier Voulkos http://www.pcpolyzine.com/2000december/pier.html
    or artists like Grant Diffendaffer and my jaw drops. Their work is all amazing. But somehow again, Mica Shift has never grabbed me.

    It could be because the technique is SO synonymous with those artists that is the issue though. If I do Mica Shift stuff, it almost feels like I am emulating them rather than really making my own work. But I guess like any clay technique, that would just be a case of putting in the hours until you develop your own particular style with it.
    Emma
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
    www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

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    • #3
      I know what you mean about certain techniques feeling like they 'belong' to other people - that's the good thing about caning, you can experiment all you want, and get so many different outcomes!

      Lol, I love that you invented canes! I think you should get credit for coming up with them anyway, even if you would've needed a time machine I'm in awe of good canework (I loved your face canes on some of your latest bead sets, for instance), but I'm still working on making very basic leaf canes, though I keep trying to make up my own ideas (my original acorn design was slightly less than sucessful)
      ContinuumDesigns- artisan polymer clay beads for one-of-a-kind designs.

      The FHFTeam - featuring glass, jewellery and art handmade in the UK.

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      • #4
        Lol, yeah I had about a 3 second pout when I saw some polymer clay cane beads for sale at a craft fair. Then I realised it was a good (and of course inevitable) thing. And that if other people were doing it too - that meant there must be other clayers out there.

        It was quite lonely being a clayer before the internet really

        Anyway - leaf canes are just the most fun. I am always promising myself I will do more leaf canes specifically, but do I ever actually get around to it?

        Here is a collar I made a several years ago. I don't even know if I can remember how I made all the canes now, but it sure was fun. I remember that.



        Another couple of leaf canes



        Emma
        Emma
        www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
        www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
        www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

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        • #5
          Ooooo these are lovely. My first attempt with beads last week end wasnt so good but hopefully practice will make perfect :-/
          Bedecked Beads-Handcrafted Jewellery from Scotland

          http://www.facebook.com/bedeckedbeads

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          • #6
            Oh definitely don't give up!

            Polymer clay is a constant learning curve and I think we are all continually practising, trying to get our work just a bit better than before. And that never changes.

            Now we have this area too, don't forget there are loads of experienced clayers here to give a helping hand if you get stuck!

            Emma
            Emma
            www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
            www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
            www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

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            • #7
              Those are great leaf canes Emma -bullseye leaf canes are my favourite cane to make right now, mainly because my end results actually look like leaves.

              A few months ago I tried a quavers cane (the musical note, not the crisp) - I got a headphone cane instead. Needless to say, it's on the inside of other beads now! I love following other people's flower canes and making my own twists on them (usually by accident) but I do want to keep trying to map original canes. Maybe someday
              ContinuumDesigns- artisan polymer clay beads for one-of-a-kind designs.

              The FHFTeam - featuring glass, jewellery and art handmade in the UK.

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              • #8
                I love making canes. Tend to make flowers in the spring and summer and patterns in the autumn and winter.

                Also started using glitters (thanks to Emma) which is good fun.
                LC's Beads
                http://www.freewebs.com/lcsbeads
                http://www.lcsbeads.folksy.com
                http://www.lcsbeads.misi.co.uk
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                • #9
                  Another canework addict here too!!

                  I'm also loving making skinner blend sheets for covering shapes too, now I've finally got a pasta machine - I'm experimenting wih some slightly odd colour combos but they seem to be looking OK so far....

                  Claire
                  Website; www.midshiresmakers.co.uk
                  Facebook Pages: www.facebook.com/weedoncraftmarket
                  www.facebook.com/craftshoppingexperience

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                  • #10
                    My favorite technique is mokume gane. It is just like surprise box. And i like brain canes also.
                    I am inviting you for a cup of coffee, http://nihalerpeden.blogspot.com
                    My Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DONDURMA?ref=si_shop

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                    • #11
                      Hi

                      Very new to polymer clay, I've just made 4 little rose beads using perfect pearls. They are okish, I'll keep practising!!

                      Emma I looooveee your second set of cane leaves, gorgeous. Is caning easy to do for a beginner or should I wait a while to try? And do I need any special tools?

                      Shary
                      x
                      My cardmaking blog

                      The other side of me

                      My new beading blog

                      So many beads , not enough cash

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                      • #12
                        Hi Shary

                        Caning is a vast area in itself. So - you can have incredibly complex canes that take quite a bit of experience to design and put together.

                        But you can also have very simple canes too, ideal for beginners to do but still effective and pretty.

                        And of course, then you have everything in between those two extremes.

                        Simple canes such as Spiral or bullseye canes are fun to begin with. Very easy to do and give you a good understanding on the basis of canemaking.

                        Simply roll out a log of one colour, roll a sheet of a different colour and wrap the log in the sheet. Maybe add another couple of different coloured sheets. Roll the log together and roll it out thinner. Take some slices from the log and roll those into a ball of different coloured clay. Voila, very simple bullseye cane beads!

                        Or roll out two sheets of different colours. Lay them on top of each other and then roll them up into a spiral, like making a Swiss Roll cake. A very simply spiral cane.

                        Useful polymer clay tools for canemaking include sharp cutting blades, a pasta machine or hand roller, to roll out clay sheets. Sometimes clay extruders are also useful for making canes. I would start simple though - try out some bullseye canes and spiral canes and take it from there.

                        Don't forget you can combine those simple canes together too to make more complex ones. Try googling "polymer clay millefiori" and I bet you will find loads of free projects online too
                        Emma
                        www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
                        www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
                        www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

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                        • #13
                          I love those leaves too Emma - fab stuff!
                          I love caning too but I get bored with the same design so I am always making up new ones. I also admit that even though I have a pasta machine I do my skinner blends by hand. Don't ask me why - I just like doing it manually!
                          Jayne
                          http://www.folksy.com/shops/Jaykay

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                          • #14
                            Seeing as the topic is canes right now (and I don't want to start a new thread just for these!) I wanted to my first almost-okay canes done without any instructions or pictures (in other words, I winged it)

                            Feel free to chuckle!

                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/continu...ns/4379517716/

                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/continu...ns/4378752167/

                            I really need to work on packing canes....I tend to just slap on some transluscent clay and start squeezing!
                            ContinuumDesigns- artisan polymer clay beads for one-of-a-kind designs.

                            The FHFTeam - featuring glass, jewellery and art handmade in the UK.

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                            • #15
                              They're cool Hazer. I wouldn't know where to start with something like that
                              The colours on the grapes one are really good, the actual grapes look quite 3D with the shadows. I agree that the shell could be a little more contrasty, unless it's just the photo.
                              Nice stuff though, have you got plans for them?
                              http://www.kookizu.com
                              Jewellery & Accessories

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