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A Bulls Eye Cane, A Snake, A Log And A Jelly Roll

Apart from the Jelly roll, A Bulls eye, a Snake, and a Log sounds very out in the country, doesn't it?
They are actually names of canes used in polymer clay.

Most patterns in polymer clay are made up from several canes put together in different ways. That is why caning with polymer clay often is referred to as millefiori. Millefiori means thousands flowers in Italian and is the name of a technique used to make glass beads, where several glass canes are fused together into lovely patterns.

Caning in polymer clay is an art form too, and polymer clay artists produce amazingly detailed and beautiful canes. Most picture canes are put together from different varieties of a few simple basic canes, and a snake, a log, a bulls eye cane and a jelly roll are some of the most used ones.

A polymer clay snake and a log

A snake and a log:
These to are the simplest of the canes. As you can see on the photo above they are actually a lump of conditioned polymer clay rolled into cigar shapes of different thicknesses.

And, logically, like in the nature, the thinnest one is a snake and the thickest one a log. And there is actually not more to them than that.

How thick or thin they are, depends on what you are going to make. If you plan on making large canes your snake may be thick as a log and the log proportionally thicker and vice versa.

The only ting to keep in mind when making these to simple canes, is to condition your clay well, and try to roll all air pockets out of the clay when you shape them. To roll them so they are of equal size on both ends, try using a glass- or acrylic plate to roll them with. Just place the plate on top of the log or snake. Hold on to the plate on both sides and move it forward and backward.

Let's move on to the Bulls eye cane.

Polymer clay Bull's eye canes

The Bulls eye cane:
First you have to make a log. Condition the clay well, and roll it into shape. After that, condition a different colored clay and run it through the thickest setting on your pasta machine.

Making a Bull's eye polymer clay cane

Roll the log into the colored sheet.

Making a Bull's eye polymer clay cane

Cut the clay so that the two ends meet exact and do not overlap. Smooth down the seam and trim the ends of the cane.

A Polymer clay Bull's eye cane

And there you are. You have made a bulls eye cane. If uneven, roll it with a acrylic plate, like mentioned above.

You can add as many wraps in different colors you want. Wary their thicknesses from double thickness to the very thinnest. If you use translucent clay wrapped in opaque clay sheets, you can create some great patterns.

Polymer clay jelly rolls

The Jelly roll:
This is another simple cane that makes very nice patterns when used, and can be made in lots of variations. You make it like this:

Making a polymer clay jelly roll

Step 1:
Condition some black and some green clay, and roll them through on the thickest setting on your pasta machine.

Step 2:
Put the green sheet on top of the black and trim the ends so that you have a long strip.

Making a polymer clay Jelly roll

Step 3:
Use a tissue blade and make a slanted cut on each end.

Rolling up a polymer clay Jelly roll

Step 4:
Roll the sheets into a cane. The slanted cuts will make it roll easily at the beginning, and will seal the cane off at the end, so that the green clay will not show. Trim the ends, and you will see the nice spiral pattern.

Polymer clay Jelly roll

You can make different variations by using more sheets of different colors, by altering the thickness of the sheets, use translucent clay etc. It is a basic cane with lots of opportunities.

Check out this tutorial where these types of canes are used as they are: Make A Sunny And Funny Bracelet With The Simplest Of Canes

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