Mod Canes; Retro Canes; Dot Canes; Lazy Woman’s Mokume Gane… All Different Names for the Same Cool Cane!
From the research I’ve done, it appears that Nan Roche was the first polymer clayer to make the mod cane… though I think she called it an extruded mosaic cane. Since Nan’s original work, there have been many different clay artists making this cane and giving it their own unique twist on the name and design. I’ve heard them called Retro Canes, Dot Canes, Mod Canes and even Lazy Woman’s Mokume Gane. So you will have to choose which one you like best.
I love this particular cane design because you can create hundreds of unique combinations from the same technique, just by changing the colors. What could be more fun than that!
The extruded mod or “modern” cane is built using a polymer clay extruder such as the Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder. The clay is loaded into the barrel in sections of different colors, like a wide striped snake.
Depending on the thickness of the stripes, the results of the extruded log will vary. But the color of the clay closest to the disk will always wrap around the outside of the other colors until it runs out. This wrapping effect leads to many cool cane possibilities!
Making a Clay Extruder Mod Cane is a cool way to create a simple polymer clay cane with one of your color pallets. For example, say you’re making a set of beads using my Winter Polymer Clay Color Palette (Snowy Mountains). You can build a Mod Cane to make jewelry beads that are individually unique in design, but that also all flow together color wise.
If you would like your mod cane to have dark outlines, you would make a clay snake the size of your extruder barrel with stripes of the colors ‘Craggy Mountain’, ‘Winter Sky’, ‘Snow Banks’ and finally ‘Deep Pine’. Making sure the ‘Deep Pine’ was the color at the end closest to the extruder die.
Use a medium to large round die (though you can use any shape for a different effect), and squeeze a long log of clay from the extruder until all the clay is used.
Depending on how thick you made that dark stripe by the die, most of the log will look dark on the outside. As you cut into the log the different colors you used will show in rings… like bulls eye canes.
These rings change a little as you go down the cane. Cut the long snake into equal sized logs and stack into a block or square cane like you see in the picture above. The cool thing about making a cane like this is how different each slice of the cane looks because each log is changing as you go down the length.
To get a Mokume Gane effect you can slice this cane at a severe angle so the rings are more oval in shape. Using marbled scrap clay can also be effective with this technique.
The Clay Extruder Mod Cane is one of the polymer clay cane courses slated for filming. So that I can gage your level of interest in this mod cane project, please do let me know in the comments section below.