Checkered Paisley Cane | Polymer Tutorials Vol-053

Pt 1 Checkered Paisley Cane Project - Polymer Clay Tutor6 Videos #293 to #298: So versatile… from Indian Mehndi… to Vintage European… to Zentangle Doodle!

Isn’t it cool when you can take a single design, and completely change it’s look by simply changing the colors? Well that’s the case with today’s Checkered Paisley Cane tutorial.

This project was originally inspired by the intricate Henna Mehndi patterns from India and Pakistan, that are used to decorate the hands and feet of brides and their female guests in traditional ceremonies. The paisley shape is often used in this unique artform.

The neat thing is that when I experimented with other colors in my paisley cane designs, it gave an entirely different look and feel. For example, when Red and White is used in place of the Raw Sienna and White of the Mehndi cane, there is more of a European Needlework flair… like that of the vintage linens found in a Paris Street Market.

Alternatively, when the colors were changed to Black and White, the cane took on more of a Zentangle doodle style…

So, I think you guys are going to enjoy the versatility of this project. Posted just below is a Sneak Peak and overview of this months Checkered Paisley Cane Tutorial. The rest of this 6 part video series will be posted tomorrow (Friday, October 5th, 2012) in the Vol-053 members area at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library.

Vol-053-1: Video #293: Introduction: In this 6 part video tutorial series, you will first learn how to create a Checkered Paisley Cane. Then, you will use slices from the cane to make some beautiful beads. And finally the beads will be used to in a well designed, professionally finished bracelet design. The videos will contain a variety of tips and techniques that will not only have you creating a stunning piece of jewelry, but will also give you some new skills that can be applied to other jewelry making projects as well.

Pt 2 Checkered Paisley Cane and Bracelet Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-053-2: Video #294:
Checkered Paisley Cane Center:

In this second video, you will learn how to create the checkered center of the paisley designed cane, as well as some valuable tips on how to condition your polymer clay properly.

Pt 3 Checkered Paisley Cane and Bracelet Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-053-3: Video #295:
Building on the Cane Design:

This section takes the paisley design further by building on more detailed layers with the help of an extruder. Please note that one tiny step was accidentally omitted in this clip, and was later addressed in the Video #297 (Part 5). Although the step is not critical, you may want to watch all the videos including #297, before beginning your cane, so you can include the missing layer should you want to. Sorry about the mistake.

Pt 4 Checkered Paisley Cane and Bracelet Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-053-4: Video #296:
Reducing Canes and Using Scraps:

The neat thing about this video is that I will show you how to use your one cane design and its resulting scraps to create several new cane design options. There is no such thing as waste when it comes to polymer clay.

Pt 5 Checkered Paisley Cane and Bracelet Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-053-5: Video #297:
Making Polymer Clay Cane Beads:

In this video you will learn tips and tricks for adding cane slices to beads, getting a nice smooth surface, properly baking and ultimately finishing your beads in a professional manner.

Pt 6 Checkered Paisley Cane and Bracelet Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-053-6: Video #298:
Paisley Bead Bracelet Assembly:

In this final segment of the series, you will master the techniques and tools needed to string your newly made Checkered Paisley Beads into a beautiful, functional and well designed bracelet that you can wear, gift or sell with confidence and pride!

Other Supplies:

  • Playing Cards (for pasta machine settings).

By the way, many of the “shopping” links I provide for the various tools and supplies used in my tutorials, are “affiliate” resources. That means companies like Amazon and the other suppliers I refer, pay me a small commission if you click on the links and end up making a purchase at their site. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps in keeping the cost of my tutorials down. And, the prices for products that you may purchase through my links, are exactly the same as what you would normally pay, even if it is a “sale” price. So please feel free to click whenever you need to pick up a few things for your studio. Thanks so much for your support.

The full video series for the Checkered Paisley Cane tutorial described above, is available in Vol-053 at the Polymer Clay Library.

If you would like to receive 3 free beginner videos right now, plus some free color recipes that get sent out each week in my Friday email newsletter, please click this link: Polymer Clay Tutorials

To be notified whenever new PcT videos are made available, go to this Youtube link… Polymer Clay Cane Tutorial … click on the “Thumbs Up Like” button below the video player… and then click on the “Subscribe” button above the player. Oh… and while you are over there, please do leave a quick comment as well. Google really likes it when you do that… and so do we :-)


Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my monthly library tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Cindy, your warmth and enthusiasm; ability to set newcomers at ease; commitment to quality; and absolute dedication to your followers and craft are some of the reasons your tutorials are popular. People are naturally drawn to your relaxed, sincere teaching style Cindy – with that we become inspired with the info we receive and want also to create our own projects. ~Danette-J

Don’t know if I’ve ever put in writing how much I appreciate your amazing tutorials, talent, and forever sharing of your gifts. I look forward to Friday’s just to see what beautiful trinkets of creations you have in store to share with us. Working with jewelry, especially polymer, is my saving grace, my therapy… and my passion. I wear what I make daily, and always, always, ALWAYS get compliments. So I thank you, from the bottom of this lil ol heart, for your hard work, devotion, and endless gifts… and for sharing, quite inexpensively I might add, from the heart. ~Gail-M

If you are wanting to learn polymer clay you have come to the right place. Cindy is a fantastic teacher, her projects are just wonderful and she comes up with the neatest techniques. I hope you become a member because once you do, you will never look back. ~DixieAnn-S

The full video series for the Checkered Paisley Cane tutorial described above, is available in Vol-053 at the Polymer Clay Library.

If you would like to receive 3 free beginner videos right now, plus some free color recipes that get sent out each week in my Friday email newsletter, please click this link: Polymer Clay Tutorials

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. pollyanna, 04 October, 2012

    These are beautiful. Can’t wait to start this tute. Looks so versatile.

  2. Monique U., 04 October, 2012

    Caning and extruder designs are among my faves, Cindy… can’t wait to see all the great tips you add to augment my basic skills!

  3. Maria, 04 October, 2012

    Vintage European design ? I say yes! Very excited to learn this technique!

  4. Sandra, 04 October, 2012

    Am really looking fwd to this too. I can’t fathom how you come up with all theses wonderful designs you are one very talented lady! You are so special to share your talent with us at such a little cost. Thank you form the bottom of my heart for your generosity!

  5. Lesley Symons, 04 October, 2012

    WOW!! Really excited about this one, the paisley beads are beautiful!

  6. Elaine Faulks, 04 October, 2012

    Perfect paisley presents for my three pretty sisters. They all love the paisley pattern so a big thank you CINDY now I have the perfect gifts to make them for Christmas……………….cheers xx………………………….

  7. Marion Rayner, 04 October, 2012

    I’ve often wondered if you’re psychic Cindy, now I have the proof! I’ve been thinking for some time that Zentangle might lend itself to polymer clay and was on the point of writing to ask you – and here it is! I’m so thriled you are doing this, looking forward enormously! See you tomorrow! Marion

  8. tantesherry, 04 October, 2012

    Oh this is gonna be good
    I <3 cane work

  9. Cherie H, 04 October, 2012

    Paisley is one of my favorite patterns. It’s used a lot in India and besides Mehendi, used in jariwork (metal thread embroidery) on borders of sarees, salwars etc. Here’s a saree in paisley. FYI, henna is very good for the hair too!

  10. tantesherry, 05 October, 2012

    Cherie – omw those are beautiful \
    I spent some time flipping thru the pics

    Just fascinating – thank you for the link

  11. pollyanna, 05 October, 2012

    I had a peek also. Just beautiful items. Thanks for the heads up.

  12. Dixie Ann, 07 October, 2012

    Cherie, thanks for the link. The pictures are quite stunning. We have many Indian families where I live and have always admired the beautiful dress and wraps they wear. I have wanted many times to stop and talk with them about the fabrics but am always afraid they might think me rude or nosey. They are a beautiful race of people and their children are adorable. Maybe if we all learned more about other cultures there would be a lot less predjudice and mistrust in the world. Who knows, maybe Cindy started something with Polymer Clay!

  13. Jocelyn, 07 October, 2012

    Cherie, I just cruised through that site, what gorgeous designs and fabric. I need to wear cotton Would I be politically incorrect to wear an outfit from this site? How do you feel about it?


  14. Jocelyn, 14 October, 2012

    So I guess we are saying it is politically incorrect to be Irish medium and wear cotton Indian clothing?

  15. Cherie, 25 October, 2012

    Oh not at all! I have English friends that have worn the saree. Were you referring to the ‘saree’ or just cotton? And cotton is just a kind of material ( spun from the cotton plant which grows a lot in India); it’s not a traditional dress. Cotton is very good to wear; it’s cool and not synthetic.

  16. Jocelyn, 27 October, 2012

    Cherie, thank you for your kind response. I struggle with this issue, as I love design and color from everywhere but wish to be respectful.

    I live in cotton 24/7. I easily overheat. I am going on a cruise in March, 2013, and am concerned about the heat as it will leave out of Florida….

    Going to hit that link again. Hope all is well with you and yours!

  17. Sandra, 05 October, 2012

    I KNEW it would be great! Really looking forward to giving this a go.
    Thanks Cindy

  18. Michele Dickey, 05 October, 2012

    WOW! What a plethora of information you have provided for us in this series!!! I love the cane work using an extruder, it makes it so much easier! Thank you so much! I love the finished pieces too!! I was wondering about a piece that you had on your desk but didn’t show to the camera. It looked like a feather of some kind. It was lying on the table towards the top of the screen. Could you show us what it is please. Also, I don’t know if you can add something to the beginning of the videos that explains the little “mistake” so those of us who start from the first video and make the project one video at a time will know before we start. I was surprised that my cane looked so different, then you explained in the next video. Thanks again!!!

  19. Cindy Lietz, 05 October, 2012

    Hi Michele, If you scroll above you will see that I did mention the small error in the description of video #295.

    It is always a good idea to watch the series in full before starting with the tutorials. Having the “big picture” in your head up front can be helpful to keep you on track when you start into the details. As well, should there ever be a mistake that happens on my part, or a suggestion of doing the technique in another way, you will know those things before you begin.

    Also, if you can, it is helpful to come to the blog and read the post(s) that corresponds to the tutorials. There are many questions and answers that come through the interaction with others in the community. I know many members just wait until they get their newsletter and then just go straight to the members site to watch their videos and don’t bother with the blog unless they have a question. But you will find that your learning experience will be much richer if you take full advantage of all that there is here for you.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the tutorial, and hope that the little mistake wasn’t too much of a pain for you. I would have redone the video but the error was so small that I didn’t think it was worth it, plus it is good to see that everyone can make mistakes and most of them aren’t worth worrying about. Its all part of the creative process. Thank you for your comment!

  20. Jodie H, 05 October, 2012

    Cindy –

    This is a great cane! Very inspiring. Thank you.

  21. Sara G, 05 October, 2012

    Cindy you are soooo great :)

    I like to make all kinds of jewelry… but I haven’t tried polymer clay yet. So I was going tru different tutorials before I go and buy everything… And you are…like an angel :)

    This week I saw bunch of tutorials and some were really great, but yours… everything is so simply explained, everything is so understandable. Like “Polymer Clay for Dummies” :)

    So, I just wanted to say THANK YOU, your videos will surely help me a lot.
    And sorry for my english, I hope you understood everything :)

  22. Angie Kent, 05 October, 2012

    Absolutely gorgeous and great background to the design.

  23. Elaine Faulks, 05 October, 2012

    I thought oh no!!!

    Why is CINDY wrapping in black? It goes to show how far we have progressed as I knew it should have been white by, just by looking at the finished cane. Although it still looked pretty with your deliberate mistake..So glad you did this paisley pattern and thanks to CHERIE those pictures were so beautiful. Now all I have to decide are the colours to choose………………….cheers xx……………………

  24. Jean G, 05 October, 2012

    I wanted to thank you for taking care of my log in issue so quickly. I really enjoy your videos. Your explanations are clear and concise and the projects are fun and interesting. I really like the change that you made a few months ago on the videos all at the beginning of the month. It’s nice to watch them all at one time so that I can get the entire project concept and then go back over the techniques that I want to focus on.

    Many thanks, Jean

  25. Dixie Ann, 05 October, 2012

    Thrilled to get another cane tutorial to make since they are my bane but I just keep on trying. This one is absolutely beautiful and I love the way Cindy showed the different color combo’s and the different looks that result from them. The fact that she makes mistakes so we don’t have to is “Reality Art”! I never would have known if she had not gone back and explained the difference of forgetting a specific cane wrap. Gleaning art from other cultures and combining it with PC makes her a leader in teaching these wonderful video’s that opens up so many more possibilities we never thought of. Thank you Cindy, you just keep making it better….and better…..and better……..

  26. Leigh Gordon, 06 October, 2012

    Thank you Cindy, I cannot wait to make this bracelet!!

  27. pattw35, 06 October, 2012

    Paisley is a favorite in form. I always buy paisley stuff. This tute is so much fun ! Imagination is running wild. So many color choices. Your boo-boo is not a big thing. Just reverse the extruded colors. Even makes more choices -teehee. I can see many colors and patterns coming……….Thanks for all the in depth info about the shape. It is so interesting to see what other cultures adore.

    I really do love the new format. Seeing the whole picture – then making it. So easy to follow and understand.This idea is brilliant………………Now I have to go make it……..see ya

  28. Andrea Paradiso, 06 October, 2012

    It’s TRUE! Cindy, you make mistakes so we don’t have to…but I’m glad to see you make them nevertheless. I’m always so conscious when I work the clay, even thought I work alone, of what I might be doing wrong. Like grabbing this wrong, dropping beads, having to re-string things because I miscalculated, etc.. It’s nice to see you do those on camera. (Isn’t this compliment a little backward?!) Anyway, it makes me feel a little bit better that I’m so far from the perfect little artiste I want to be. So thank you.

    I got all kinds of supplies today, so here’s to the bohemian bracelet and the paisley beads and the sweet pea earrings! I finally got Gilder’s paste…ooooh! Also doing a very interesting vampire necklace for Halloween, designed by Christi Friesen, with hinged wings and Swavorski drops of blood and I don’t know what all. Going to see if I can figure out matching wings for earrings too, although I might end up flying away. Want to see the looks on the customer’s faces at the store when they see THAT.

    Thank you for this tutorial because it helped me to assert my instincts when I work with the clay. I had seen a tutorial on reducing canes and it said to grab it by the middle and really squeeze it. She called the technique (I’m not kidding!) ‘choke the chicken’. Well, when I tried it it just DID NOT feel right. And I kind of ended up doing it like you did here. I’m so glad you explained it so well. I was going to buy one of you earlier tutorials on this because I was just very hesitant that I was doing it right. Now you gave me enough to go on til I get to that.

    Please, please…try faces! Please…I can just imagine the sweetness that would come from your hands!

    Thanks for everything and will report back!

    Love to ALL!

  29. Cindy Lietz, 12 October, 2012

    Andrea, thank you so much for your comment! I could feel your excitement and love right through the screen as I read it. So glad you are enjoying your polymer clay journey. I will try and learn how to make faces some day. Every sculpted face I have tried to do so far, looks pretty Neanderthal… not sure how big the market is right now for jewelry with caveman faces!! lol Any who, I should keep giving it a chance. Who knows, if I can eventually teach myself how to make a pretty little doll face, I should have no problem teaching others to do it… the theory being if I could do it, anyone can! :)

  30. Sue F, 07 October, 2012

    One way to work around the problem of cane ends drawing in — and the related problem of pattern distortion if you manipulate the ends too much trying to get them back into place — is to add a thickish chunk of scrap clay to each end of the constructed cane *before* reducing it.

    Once you’ve done that, reduce the scrap clay ends along with the rest of the cane. The ends will still draw in, but that will generally be confined to the scrap clay so you won’t lose much if any of your real cane.

    When the cane has been reduced to the required size just cut off the scrap at the ends, and a tiny bit more if you need to.

    If you use a contrasting scrap clay colour it makes it easy to see where to cut. It also helps if the scrap clay is roughly the same consistency as the cane clay (by this I mean just to avoid big consistency differences, like partnering older-formula Kato which is very firm with Premo which is comparatively soft).

  31. Elaine Faulks, 07 October, 2012

    Thanks SUE F

    I had forgotten this technique which I read about ages ago but not put into practice as did not have any scrap clay at that time.

    I made 20 large red/white paisley beads today that I am happy with and searched for my tumbler (somebody’s been tidying up again)
    but will use the scrap clay ends to do my next set of paisley beads as now have “heaps” of scrap clay. I must admit couldn’t use about an inch either end but will use these bits on some of CINDY’S ways to use up distorted end bits so thanks CINDY…….cheers xx………….

  32. Jocelyn, 07 October, 2012

    Great idea, will try. Thanks Sue!

  33. Dixie Ann, 07 October, 2012

    Sue, that is a terrific idea. One of my biggest problems has been in reducing canes. I just can’t seem to get them to come out right. They are always so distorted. If I add scrap clay to the ends, how and when does one go about doing this? Should I just put a plug of scrap clay at each end before I start reducing?

  34. Sue F, 07 October, 2012

    Hi Dixie Ann,

    Yes, you just put a plug of scrap clay, in the same shape as the cane, at each end of the cane before you start reducing.

    To do this with canes with simple shapes, I just roll a suitably-sized log of scrap clay, reshaping it if necessary to match the cane when it’s close to the required size (e.g. squaring it up, or shaping it into a triangle or hexagon or whatever). Then I cut off two chunks and put these against the ends of the cane (cutting the chunks rather than just shaping them entirely by hand ensures that they have smooth, cleanly-edged faces that will “push back” evenly against the cane).

    For oddly-shaped canes, it’s probably easiest to roll the scrap clay out at your pasta machine’s thickest setting, then cut and stack several layers of this until you reach the thickness you want for your scrap clay plug, pressing firmly to ensure the layers won’t separate. Put the cane end-on on top, cut around the edge of the cane, then do the same with the other end.

    If you’re not sure how thick to make the scrap clay ends, go for thicker rather than thinner, and I’d make them *at least* 2cm or 3/4in long/thick. It’s only scrap clay and it’s easily re-used, and while you will have slightly more work to do reducing the larger total amount of clay, you want enough scrap to make sure that the largest distortions happen to it rather than to your cane.

    A few other thoughts on minimising cane distortion:

    – If your constructed, pre-reduction cane is short you will lose more of the cane when you reduce it than if the cane was taller/longer when initially constructed. It’s a bit of a trade-off between avoiding using too much clay in the cane (particularly when experimenting!), and making the cane long/tall enough that it will reduce nicely. Also, depending on how the cane is constructed, it can be easy or hard to make a long/tall cane in the first place (e.g. canes constructed from extruded lengths can be made long quite easily, while face canes and pictorial canes built up from a large number of oddly-shaped components are quite difficult to make long/tall!). For what it’s worth, 2.5cm/1in is about the minimum length I personally use for canes that will need to be reduced, and I normally make them longer/taller. The trick of adding scrap clay ends before reducing is more helpful, proportionally, when your initial cane is short than when it’s long/tall.

    – Once you’ve constructed your cane, let it sit for a while in a cool place before reducing it to make sure all the clay is at the same temperature. If you start reducing it immediately after constructing it, the outer clay will almost certainly be warmer and softer than the inner clay, so it will naturally move more and distort more. If the clay warms up too much on the outside when you’re part way through reducing it, stop and let it sit for a while for the temperature to even up again before continuing reducing it. (I also try to let my reduced canes rest for a while before cutting slices off them to minimise distortion of the overall shape when cutting, although I don’t always have the patience for this! However, using a very clean, very shape blade — e.g. a tissue blade rather than a clay blade — and firm clay helps a lot with that part.)

    – It’s easier to avoid distortion with firmer clay than with softer clay.

    (As a side-note on oddly-shaped canes, Idit Fischer Kats developed a technique for reducing these without having to add coloured or translucent background clay, where the cane is first wrapped in a thin layer of water-soluble clay, then packed with scrap clay to an easily-reduced simple shape, then reduced, then the packing removed with the help of the water-soluble clay. I haven’t tried that yet myself — although I have Play-Doh in my studio ready for when I get a chance — but it looks like a great technique and it might also help if it’s only the odd-shaped canes that don’t cooperate.)

  35. Dixie Ann, 07 October, 2012

    Thanks Sue, I appreciate all the tips. I have never made a large cane as I want to perfect making a smaller cane first. I now realize why my small canes end up next to nothing. I don’t have any problems putting the canes together, letting them rest, or slicing them. It’s always the reduction where I end up consistently with a distorted cane. I am excited now to try the plugs hoping that will work. Thanks so much!

  36. Sue F, 07 October, 2012

    You can still make small canes… just size and shape the components so that the cane is taller/longer rather than shorter/wider.

    I rarely make large canes. The biggest reduced-and-trimmed cane sitting out on my workbench at the moment is 1.5cm in diameter and 4.5cm long. Mostly I’ll use between one quarter of a 2oz pack and a full pack 2oz of clay in total (generally on the lower end of that range, but tending towards the higher end for complex or pictorial canes). The biggest cane in my cane storage box — which is about twice the size of my next-biggest stored cane — started out with less than two 2oz packs worth of clay.

    Some designs are more forgiving of distortion than others… Mine often have sharp lines or geometric patterns or specific mica tricks which don’t react to distortion well at all, but that’s less of a factor with swirly and nature-inspired canes (which sometimes even look better or more natural if there is some variation rather than being photocopy-identical throughout).

    Anyway, I hope the trick with the scrap clay ends helps! :)

  37. Elaine Faulks, 08 October, 2012

    Wow, great hints and tips SUE F

    I also got some play doh back in the summer to try IFK’s background technique but when I went to use it, because we had two very hot weeks, it had all dried up in the pots into solid lumps, so I threw it out.

    Must get some more now the colder weather is here. Wonder if it could also be used instead of scrap clay to add to the ends of the canes before reducing? What do you think? Or would the consistancy be different?
    (I had two canes wrapped and cooling in the fridge and DH thought it was a new type of cheese, must remember to put DO NOT TOUCH lables on them!! …………………………….cheers xx…………………………………

  38. Sue F, 10 October, 2012

    “A new type of cheese”… classic! LOL

    I don’t think Play Doh would work as well as polymer clay for the “scrap clay on the ends” reduction trick because you want the ends to behave as much like the cane as possible (it’s definitely much, much softer than my favoured old-formula Kato!). I’m also not sure whether Play Doh would stick to the ends of the cane well enough to not be annoying. But I don’t actually know… it could be worth trying some time!

  39. Cindy Lietz, 12 October, 2012

    Sue, I have been meaning to come here and thank you for sharing these cane reducing tips with everyone. It is a technique that I have been aware of for a long time, but for some reason haven’t done it yet. (I know, weird EH? Especially coming from me who always loves to test out a good technique.)

    I think I have been hesitant to cover up the ends and lose that ability to ‘see’ what is going on with the design as it gets reduced. (Also I rarely have much scrap clay, since I usually use up any distorted ends that I get during the reduction process to make beadcores with.)

    I will however, give it a try on the next cane I do, because I know that it should do the job very nicely and if you’ve tried it and liked it, then it MUST be good!

    BTW, it sure has been nice to have you back around. It is always so great to learn from our resident polymer clay mad scientist!

  40. Sue F, 13 October, 2012

    Thank you, Cindy!

    I never have as much time for claying (and being a mad scientist :D) as I’d like, and this year I’ve had even less than normal due to sporting commitments. They’ve eased off slightly in the last month or two though, so I’m getting back into clay mode.

    And I’m sure you’ve just had far too many other things to do, to experiment with, and to figure out, to have had time for a technique that you don’t have a particular need for!

    If I only have to reduce things a little, or if my canes are already long, I don’t bother with the scrap clay ends either, but I do find them handy early on in the process, particularly when I’m using a softer-than-old-formula-Kato clay.

    For staying aware of what’s going on with a cane while it’s being reduced, I’ll generally ensure there’s something that can act as a registration line on the outside of the cane to help prevent it from getting twisted. And since I rarely reduce an entire constructed cane at once, but instead cut sections off at different sizes, those cuts give me a good enough check on how the design, colour contrast, etc. looks at various stages before I stick the scrap back on to keep reducing. Other than that, I just go for it ;) By now I have a reasonable idea of how they will turn out.

    And I too find too many uses for scrap clay to have much of it lying around. In my case, some of my favourite bead-making techniques manipulate scrap clay for the decorative layer… and I end up using “good” clay on the inside! LOL

  41. Cindy Lietz, 13 October, 2012

    LOL, me too Sue! I have a hard time doing it so I usually reach for a clay that I have lots of, but I have definitely ended up using good clay on the inside, several times before. I will try and force myself to save some scrap clay for cane reducing though. Thanks again for all your tips. Glad to be getting your input again!

    So what kind of sports have been taking up your time? Sounds intriguing.

  42. Sue F, 14 October, 2012

    Karate, mostly.
    (Firm clay is not a problem! ;D)

  43. Jocelyn, 09 October, 2012

    Cannot wait to start this cane today when I get back from the Drs appt. Love paisley. I cannot get over how many tips and techniques are in this series of videos. Well done, Cindy!

  44. tantesherry, 12 October, 2012

    Hi All

    didn’t get to go to Michaels after dr appt Wen. BUT it’s ok because I’m thinking I
    just got a better deal on ebay

    typed in Wilton leaf cutter in ebays main search square

    the seller is pricebully

    got a 9 pc lot of Wilton Metal Cookie cutters – 3 leaves (like the one Cindy used) 3stars and 3 flowers for $6.99 and Free S/H YAY :)

    the site said more than 10 still available — hope this info is helpful

    Speaking of helpful – Sue, you rock !!! thank you very much for the reduction reminder using scrap plugs !!

    I’ve always wanted to do a paisley but didn’t know where to start… problem solved – thanks to you Cindy :)

  45. Jocelyn, 12 October, 2012


    Love the new pasta machine and motor so have been blending and prepping for different colors. How long do you all wait before you re-warm a sheet of clay? I store in sealed plastic bags.

    Finished the paisley cane and I love it!!!!

  46. tantesherry, 14 October, 2012

    Hi Jocelyn

    when Cindy showed us the page protector method for storing blends – I came across some of my blends that were really old and cracked – they warmed up beautifully and look like I just made them

    so I guess my thought would be – no need to re-warm your blends till your ready to use them

    is that what you meant?

  47. Jocelyn C, 14 October, 2012

    Glad that worked Sherry.

    I cannot move quickly, I do stuff in starts and stops. When doing the paisley cane, one day I made all the colors and rolled them out at the specified settings, placed them on parchment, then bagged and sealed them. Fresh.

    How many days or how long can I use these sheets as is, before I should stop and condition the clay again?

    In other words was is the “working time” for fresh conditioned sheets?

  48. Cindy Lietz, 14 October, 2012

    I feel for you Jocelyn. It must be so difficult to have MS, but you just keep going.

    If you plan on working with your clay over a period of days, then I wouldn’t worry about ‘re-conditioning’ it before using it again. I would just ‘wake it up’ by running through the pasta machine once or twice.

    With the checkered part of the paisley cane you probably wouldn’t even have to do that since the sheets will be used flat and not bent in any way, so it wouldn’t matter too much if they were a little stiff and ‘sleepy’.

    Whatever works to keep the clay from cracking when working with it should be fine. Unless it sits for an extremely long time or gets leached out in some way, it wouldn’t be a matter of the plasticizers in the clay needing to be redistributed again.or anything.

    (You know I am not convinced that the plasticizers settle to the bottom of the clay like people have been suggesting over the years. Otherwise, wouldn’t we have to be cognizant of which side was up during storage and make sure we cut piece off the block that included both the top section and the bottom in order to have clay with the proper amount of plasticizers? Or to be really scientific about it, wouldn’t the whole block need to be remixed before removing any amount of clay, in order for the clay to have the proper amount of ‘ingredients’? Just something to think about. And possibly test some time.)

    Hope this helps in addition to the awesome help that Sherry has given you.

  49. Jocelyn C, 14 October, 2012

    Frankly, Cindy, I shudder to think what would have become of me had you not come up on Google.

    For someone rehabbing, using your system cannot be beat. I started all over again, from the Beginners Tutes. I learned to do things mentally and physically that improved my original skills but still work with wonkey hands.

    The paisley can is a perfect example.

    Thank you so much.

  50. Tanya L, 14 October, 2012

    What you guys are doing and how your tutorials, website, and videos have evolved is absolutely terrific. I recently watched some of the first videos and the difference in your skills, Cindy (and therefore mine, from what my friends and family tell me) is amazing, as is the difference in Doug’s skills with videotaping and the website. I love how it “feels” as though we’re right there with you – sitting next to you in your studio. You all make it something to look forward to, not just to learn new techniques, but also because you’re not afraid to let us see a mistake you may have made, and you let us laugh along with you and share family stories.

    I may not post here on the blog often, or even have the time to keep up with all the postings, but rest assured checking in on a Friday (or Saturday morning with my first cup of coffee) is usually the highlight of my week!

    I’d like to request a tutorial. My son was deployed yesterday and will be serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. I would like to figure out how to make camouflage canes, especially the pixilated type that he wears, and make dog tags – maybe by taking two slices, cutting out the center of one and layering that one on top of the other, and after baking insert a picture and then seal it with resin. But I know you can come up with a technique that’ll be so much easier than I ever could. He’ll be there for Christmas and I’d love to make a bunch of these with pics of his son (who’s 1 1/2 years old now), wife, and the rest of the family. I know you film ahead so you wouldn’t be able to do this before then (if at all). If I figure out his to do it I’ll let you know.

    Thanks so much for all that you guys do for us.

  51. Jocelyn, 15 October, 2012

    Hi Tanya,

    Love the idea. We have Brenda Moran, a member and artist here, who did some awesome camouflage and wirework polymer clay hearts.

    Maybe Cindy and Brenda could come up with a tute for them?

    Sue F, am so thrilled you are back posting. Thank you for teaching me!

    Cindy….whatthinksthee of KATO clay…….dying to hear your impressions.

  52. Cindy Lietz, 16 October, 2012

    Thank you so much for your kind words Tanya! It is wonderful to have you back around in our clay family. We missed you around here! My thoughts go out to you and your son for a safe return from Afghanistan. I can only imagine how you must all worry while he is gone. As far as being able to get a Camouflage tutorial out in time for you to make Christmas gifts, I am afraid I won’t be able to get that done for you. But I will keep it in mind for future tutorials.

    Hopefully the information that Sue and Jocelyn have forwarded you will help you get what you are looking for.

    I don’t know how this would work, but maybe you could extrude some square logs of clay in the colors you need and try and copy the pixelated pattern of your son’s uniform? I typed in ‘pixelated camo’ into Google and lots of images came up that you could imitate. It may take you some time to piece together, but it should be quite do-able, if you just add one log at a time in a grid.

    Good luck! Let us know if you’re able to come up with something that works.

  53. Brenda M, 19 October, 2012

    Hi Tonya,

    Seems that we have something in common, A son in the armed forces. If you give me a call perhaps I can help you. I too do not get on much anymore.

    We had a family emergency back in June, and I am having to care for my two grandchildren and their activities, schooling and care consumes all of me.

    Jocelyn@ Thank You for mentioning my hearts :)

    Bluesuade Shoe@ Thanks for letting me know about the post here.

    P.S. I miss all of my PC friends! I wish I had the time like I did before. There has been so many changes in my life and it all consumes me.

  54. Jocelyn, 19 October, 2012

    Just always remember Brenda, you and your family have a special place in my heart, and will always be prayed for and thought about. Thank him over and over from us for his service and duty to our country.

    aka bluesuede shoe on Facebook, lol.

  55. Sue F, 14 October, 2012

    Hi Tanya,

    Perhaps the camouflage covering technique demonstrated at Parole de Pate a while ago might be of use in the short term (ignore the colours they used!!!):

    The pictures are pretty self-explanatory, but this link should give you a Google translation into English.

    (I expect you could make a cane using the same approach by folding the braided clay back around on itself randomly.)

    I hope all goes well with you, your son and his family.


  56. Tanya L, 17 October, 2012

    Thanks so much you guys! Jocelyn, I love Brenda’s puffy hearts.. I would have loved a tute when she first posted them, just because of the hillbilly redneck aspect of my husband’s side of the family, LOL! And that was way before we knew Dan would be deployed. (That’s Daniel Crockett, and our other son’s name is David Boone. Can you get any more redneck than that??)

    Sue, I do like the technique used on the link you gave. I could start out with that at least and it wouldn’t matter if there was more than one pattern. It could be a work in progress for the entire time he’s there, and that would be something he’d look forward to. His son is 18 months old so one of the tags could include a recent pic of him taken each month Dan’s gone. You guys are awesome! You got the creative juices flowing!

  57. Terri B, 18 October, 2012

    Thank you so much for the great tutorial videos. I must say I am addicted to them!!

  58. Laura L, 19 October, 2012

    Hi Cindy, I am really enjoying your website… I made the paisley cane the other day (one of my first canes), and it looked GREAT :) Thanks!

  59. Barbara C, 19 October, 2012

    Hi Cindy, I really enjoy your videos as well. I have learnt so much.

  60. Mrs Rainbow, 20 October, 2012

    Lovely cane. Paisley is very popular in my native U.K. but here in Finland, I don’t see it so much. I am so glad you mentioned your small fauxpas as I was beginning to think I was going dotty! :D I am of the opinion that errors never are…they are always lessons in themselves and often lead to wonderful surprises!

    Btw….You asked for comments about how we are enjoying the videos. Well, I am stuck between seriously missing my weekly pmc videos in the old format – to also seeing the ‘main event’ that comes – I think – monthly. (Am I correct?)

    I am enjoying seeing the mini vids though. However, I very nearly totally missed this series……as I had got used to seeing the mini vids only…….that after I watched it, I was about to click out of the email and suddenly noticed another link further down the email itself. OMG – Main event tutorial was lurking quietly!!! I really nearly missed it!

    Sooo…….my point is, can the main event perhaps come on its own in future……and the mini vids just for inbetweenies? Or perhaps as the first link?

    I am now going to go back to my emails and check the video links to make sure that I have not missed anything else in between. Hopefully not…

    Great tutorials as usual…….thanks!

  61. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 03 March, 2013

    Thanks for your feedback Mrs Rainbow… hopefully by now the new publishing schedule is working for you. Sorry we did not respond to this earlier.

  62. Bonnie S, 09 December, 2012

    I purchased membership in October, but I didn’t really know what I got into. Tonight I finally figured out how to get around on your site and watched lessons 53 & 54. I was so impressed that I just had to buy the the whole series, right back to Vol 1. Thank you. There is a lot of knowledge in your video lessons and I now appreciate this.

  63. Debs A, 25 January, 2013

    I have to say I am really impressed with your customer service as well as your method of teaching. As a teacher myself I can admire the work you put into making the videos and how clearly you explain everything, as well as your reasons for doing what you do. I’m just loving being a member and glad I stumbled across the website. Debs

  64. Marthe L, 23 February, 2013


    im new to clay-working, and since i live in norway where no clay-tools are being sold (almost at least), im now wondering if there is any way i can work around the “gun”-thing, and still make this cane?


  65. Cindy Lietz, 25 February, 2013

    Yes you could work around the ‘gun thing’ aka extruder, if you wanted to. You could just roll some snakes and flatten them into semi-circles to get a similar look. If you are brand new to clay, this cane may be a challenge for you, but is doable if you watch the videos carefully a few times before and don’t rush through the steps. Good luck!

  66. Marthe L, 26 February, 2013

    I jused the bead-roller instead, and even though it was my first cane it worked out perfectly! Thanks – its so much fun!

  67. Linda Jo, 25 May, 2014

    I am working on a zentangle design for a clay piece. It is quite a complicated design. I am sure I cannot get the detail on my clay by inserting the design clay. I want to try using Indian Ink to fill the groves of the design. I did this with an egg shell piece. Have you ever tried this? Do you think it will work? Thanks, Linda Jo

  68. Cindy Lietz, 26 May, 2014

    Hi Linda Jo, your project sounds lovely! I have not tried that technique myself. You may want to test it first using a small test sample, but it should work. Let us know if you try it and how it goes!

  69. Joy Davis, 31 May, 2014

    Hi Cindy,
    I really enjoyed the paisley cane, very well presented and I followed it all the way through, nice job as usual, I kinda liked the red one too, Oh, tell me, I couldn’t find the place to hit “Like” maybe that’s not on all of them, but I did and would like to say so!
    Is there a place where all the older library video’s are? Or are they new if you haven’t seen them yet? Just wondering?
    Thanks again,
    Joy :)

  70. Cindy Lietz, 31 May, 2014

    So glad to hear that you enjoyed the Checkered Paisley Cane Tutorial, Joy. Thanks for letting me know :-)

    The “Like” buttons are over at YouTube on on Facebook where I post the intro videos… and here is where all of the back issue videos are listed… at these three links…

    Polymer Clay Back Issues Page 3 (newest releases)
    Polymer Clay Back Issues Page 2
    Polymer Clay Back Issues Page 1 (older releases)

  71. Priyanka R, 05 December, 2014

    Hi Cindy,

    A wonderful and cool technique and the design was really awesome. I am a beginner and i really need a little more help when you roll up the canes into beads. The black bead in your video did not bring up the shape quite well like the brown and white beads, is there a better video you can share on how you did the brown and white bead? Appreciate your help and i cant wait to try these designs myself.

    Thanks :)

  72. Cindy Lietz, 05 December, 2014

    Hi Priyanka, I am pleased that you are enjoying the tutorial. As far as there being another video with only the brown bead in it, I am sorry but there isn’t one. Try making the cane roll it onto the beads like I show in the video. Once you have done the process a few times you will get the hang of it and make simple changes if you wish. I believe on the brown bead I had added a couple more rows that I decided would not be simple enough for the tutorial. Once you have done a few batches you can try adding some rows of your own. You can also experiment with the color of the base bead (like layering it on a white base rather than a colored one) and you may find that the effect looks quite different. Have fun!

  73. Sam Greene, 28 June, 2020

    Hi Cindy!
    I have a question about the thickness of your black sheet in Video #294 – Part 2.
    You tell us that the white sheet is 6 playing cards (#5 setting on your machine), which is Very Helpful!
    Thank you!

    But you don’t say how many playing cards correspond to the setting on your machine for the black.
    On your machine you were using a #2 setting.

    How many playing cards fit in your #2 setting on your machine?

    Thanks for your help!

  74. Cindy Lietz, 29 June, 2020

    Hi Sam, sorry for the slow delay. I don’t use that pasta machine anymore so I had to dig around my studio to see if I could find it. The size sheet that you need is 2-3 cards thick (which I actually did mention in the video but just said 2 to 3 and failed to mention cards. My Bad.) As long as the black sheet is significantly thinner than the white, it wouldn’t matter that much the exact thickness, so if your machine only does a 2 or a 3 or something in between, then that would be fine. Sorry for the confusion on that one. I will try and be more careful in my future tutorials. :)

  75. Sam Green, 29 June, 2020

    Thanks Cindy! That is very helpful! What do you use now instead of a pasta machine? Do you have a dream machine?
    Thanks again,

  76. Cindy Lietz, 30 June, 2020

    You’re welcome Sam! I don’t have a dream machine but I do have a couple of Lucy Clay Machines, an Atlas Wellness 150 and a Modified Atlas done by Ed Street, I call the Street Machine. I have done reviews on them (one of the reasons I have so many) if you want to do a search here on the blog or on our YouTube Channel you will learn more about them.

    If you’re in the market for a good machine in the $80-100 range I would get the Atlas Wellness. In the $200 range I would get the Street Machine. And if you want the best and have a $500+ budget, I would get a Lucy Clay Machine. These machines are excellent and beat the hell out of the old AMACO Machine I used in this tutorial! :)

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