A simple little tip to making quality polymer clay canes!

IMG_5361When I first started out making canes I seemed to always struggle with getting that clean crisp look that the “pros” seemed to have. This left me wondering what am I doing wrong? I follow the directions. I know how to reduce so what am I missing

I’ve spent all this time creating that cane, I’ve reduced it and cut into it and bam!

My flower petals are bent or the tops are flat.

Well here is a simple trick that I finally figured out. Unfortunately a bit to late for this poor horse. I spent hours making him and if was gorgeous. I ignored my own knowledge and started reducing him with disastrous results.

The tragic death of the horse cane.

The tragic death of the horse cane.

What is this simple trick you ask?


That’s right “Patience” no matter how excited you are to see your finished cane the more detail and the crisper you want your lines you have to wait. That’s right wait. Once you have finished your cane DO NOT START REDUCING IT, Wait.

That’s right set it aside if you just have to do something fine start a new cane. I tend to make larger caned usually 6-10 oz so I set them aside for at least a week. I’ve even left them for as much as a month. Though that was extreme! When making a 2-4oz cane you can try 2-3 days. Bottom line is you want to let the cane rest that’s right let the clay take a nap, and just like a few of us older folks when we get up and get moving were a bit stiff. And that’s how you want your cane to feel a bit stiff. That way when you go to reduce it all the clay is on an equal playing field and no one can push anyone else around, and that’s what give us the nice clean lines just the way you want them.

Oh I love a good nap.

Oh I love a good nap.

Hope this helps, Happy Claying

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11 responses to “A simple little tip to making quality polymer clay canes!

  1. I’ve found canes frustrating for the reasons you stated so will definitely try this technique. Is it difficult to reduce the cane when it gets so stiff? I find it hard enough when the clay has been worked.

  2. I am about to start to learn how to cane and this information is beyond precious. If not for wonderful people like you giving freely information you have learned, than people like me would end up bald or very frustrated. Thank you once again.
    Cheers from
    Aussie Maree.

  3. Yes indeed that tip will be very helpful. I have found the Sculpy brand clay can get quite mooshie if over worked. I tried freezing and refrigerating but as you said it still mak rate inside match the outside. Thank you!,,

  4. Thank You so much now I know what my problem was. Again Thank You.

  5. what about putting your cane in the fridge for 30min ?

    • Some people do that and have luck. I personally have not because I have warm hands and the refrig cools the clay down from the outside first. It does not allow in 30 minutes to rest or cool evenly. To reduce a cane without movement its important that the clays are all the same firmness so one does not push the others around. So resting them allows that to happened. Does that make sense?

    • I’m just starting my journey with clay. I do a variety of other art skills, but decided I wanted to try this. I’ve been studying, watching utubes and gathering supplies. I’m so excited to get started. Your advice on putting it aside could not have come at a better time. Patience is NOT my middle name, but I want to turn out quality (ok, decent for the first few tries) pieces, so I will implement patience skills. This pandemic has taught us plenty about it! Thank you for sharing your expertise!

  6. Awesome! Thank you for the tip! Spell check also *Patience*

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