I made these two canes last December after watching Cindy Lietz’s Christmas Sweater Cane tutorial. I made many things with them and learned many things in the process.
I had some red mixed with translucent, so I used it in this cane. It was a nice, bright red. I made the maroon the color I wanted. Neither did well in the oven. See photo below.
I had to throw away several beads because they cracked when I drilled them, even though I had pierced a hole all the way through before baking. Then I drilled starting with a very small drill, a bit bigger and a bit bigger. I decided I didn’t bake the Kato clay at a high enough temperature. I switched to Premo for the backs and the cracking stopped.
In the photo below, I stretched the veneer on the left wreath/donut and I don’t like how the pattern distorted. In the wreath on the right, I simply bent the veneer, didn’t pull at it, and it looks much better to me.
What I learned from this:
- Test colors by baking them before making a cane.
- Be wary of using translucent clay in canes.
- Bake different brands of clay and drill holes to test for cracking.
- Don’t make the cane slices paper thin if you intend to sand them. One millimeter is thick enough to sand smooth without sanding all the way through.
- Clean the slicer blade often to avoid ridges in the cane slices.
- Make the corners on the cane as square as you can, not rounded.
- To avoid distortion, don’t stretch cane veneers.