Sunday, February 13, 2011

Polymer Clay Extruded Canes

I have been working on Thing a Day items for the last 13 days. My work table was covered with scraps of clay. I made piles of clay in different color groups ran them through the pasta machine and made clay sheets of rather weird colors.   I decided do a little experimenting.

I spent the afternoon playing with my extruder..... now my thumb is sore.  Did you know if you put a corkscrew cane in the extruder you get little corkscrew canes? I did not know that so I was pleasantly surprised.  Reminds me of chocolate and marshmallow.... yum!

Same thing happened when I extruded a bullseye cane.... little bullseye canes

 Same with Skinner blends... I added a border but the center is Skinner blend.

Then I got a little more creative. I made a striped cane, sliced off a piece, pinched the sides together and rolled it into a log, stuck it in the extruder and out cane smaller versions of the big one. 

Next I made a cane of different color logs, rolled it smooth and out came little canes just like the big one. 

Then I made another striped cane, cut a log, reduced it a bit, twisted it like this:

I rolled the twisted log smooth and loaded it into the extruder

and out came this interesting design.  I saw something similar  from another polymer clay artist... but I can't remember where, anyone know? ...  I think they used logs that they twisted instead of stripes. Might have been on Polymer Clay Central or Flickr.  

Please keep in mind the colors are from scrap clay, some are kinda... yucky.  I wanted to see what would happened before I opened new packages of clay.  If a small canes is desired it sure beats reducing the usual way, it's fast and the canes are uniform in size. 

Here are a few other canes I made with my extruder. I used the teardrop shaped disc for the Skinner blend petals on the pink flower.

Next I want to see what will happen if I  extrude a flower cane or a kaleidoscope cane.  

Like I said, I'm sure this has been done before but it was new to me. Hope you find it helpful as well. 


  1. I think this is the tutorial you were looking for:

  2. Well I'll be! I had no idea you could end up with smaller canes by putting them through the extruder like that! Nice discovery! I'm the one that did the swirl extruder cane -- Jenn shared the link and you can also download a PDF file of it for free at

    I enjoy your blog and is so much fun to learn from each other isn't it? Keep up the good work!

  3. Ah Ha, you are both right, that is where I saw it!! Forgive me Carolyn, my memory isn't what it use to be. I always think I will remember where I saw something, where I put something or how I did something and ten minutes later it is gone ... poof..... just like that... poof!!

  4. Very interesting BJ! Love it!!
    You learned well from Carolyn, the Swirl extruder cane is great!

    Love learning all these new things! Thank you for sharing!

  5. This post was great! I have seen Carolyn's swirly canes and tried them but I didn't realize the extruder would reduce without distorting. Awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow BJ, This is a great discovery. Love it,

  7. Great canes sliced cane. Great job I can't wait to begin experimenting

  8. Thanks Trina

    You're Welcome Kate. It was a surprise to me too.

    Thanks Sandy

    Thanks Creatively Dyed, I hope you will show us your results.

  9. This was so interesting to read! Neat.

  10. I'll have to experiment with some old canes!

  11. Any tips for doing this without warping the cane, having a lot of lost clay due to twisting, or making slices look the same (mine seem to have only part of the cane in many slices or are off center). I really want this to work as it would be much easier to achieve a uniform square shape with this method!

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