After studying ceramics in Iowa, Marie traveled a lot. But a potter's wheel and kiln are heavy and she likes to travel light. When a friend introduced her to polymer clay, or "fimo," the portability problem was solved. Marie has focused on a "caning" technique, where rolls and layers of differently colored clay are fitted into long strips. These are then fitted into place like a long puzzle, a cane. Then she cuts the cane with a very sharp blade, revealing an intricate design on each side of the slice. Photo Essay: Caning with Polymer Clay Photographs by Amira Pualwan
1: Here’s an example of the colors I’ve started with and the colors I’ve mixed to use in this design.
2: A pasta maker is a great tool for blending colors and creating even layers.
3: Rolling coils is a good starting place on the way to making other shapes.
4: After rolling the dark green through pasta maker on a very thin setting, I am using it to make the outlines that define the leaves.
5: I then shape the leaf coil into a single leaf.
6: Here I’ve put three leaf coils together and am filling the gap with the green background color.
7: This is the face of the bundled leaf coil after I’ve rolled it down to the size I want to work with.
8: Once the leaf bundles are all rolled down to size, I stack them together to build the center of the cane.
9: The center is complete.
10: After rolling even layers of red, orange, and black, I layered them together to create the line pattern around the outside edge of the cane.
11: This shows how I’ve stacked the striped layers and placed them around the edge.
12: Now to make the corner pieces I’m wrapping layers around a center orange coil.
13: I’ve pinched the round coil into a square, so that it will fit into the open spaces at the corners of the cane.
14: After wrapping the whole cane in a thin layer of black the cane work is finished. When I slice into it the two faces are mirror images of each other.
15: The cane is then cut and baked into my desired shapes and, voila!