Polymer Clay Tutorial | Cupped Cane Slice Jewelry Making Beads

Cupped Cane Slice Beads

Vid #91: Finally… A Use For Those Old Burnt Out Incandescent Light Bulbs:

For a wide variety of jewelry making projects it’s always nice to have several different bead shapes you can make with your polymer clay canes. A versatile one to learn how to do is the cupped cane slice bead. Shaped and baked on a common household light bulb, its cup shape lends beautifully to flower cane designs.

Either used on their own as pendants and charms, or glued onto a base such as in a ‘Morning Glory’ Flower Pendant Necklace, this bead will turn heads!

However, flowers canes aren’t the only polymer clay canes you can use for this bead shape. Any cane design you have will look cool, so the sky’s the limit!

Watch the preview clip below to see some other examples of cupped cane slice beads. The clip is a video sneak peak for one of the weekly tutorials scheduled to be released in the members library later this week.

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Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
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The full version of the “Cane Slice” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-008 Back Issue Package.

In the Cupped Cane Slice Beadsvideo I walk you step by step through the process of making this unique bead shape. Specific topics covered in the video include:

  • How to cut and shape the cane slice.
  • Bake the bead shape using a light bulb as the form.
  • Types of light bulbs that work best for this project.
  • How to support the light bulb during the baking process.
  • Tips for sanding and polishing this special shaped bead.
  1. Cindy Lietz, 22 January, 2009

    Another Tip… Several graduated sizes of this unique shaped bead could be made and stacked together to create a spectacular dimensional flower!

  2. Maria C, 22 January, 2009

    Cindy – Polymer clay continuously fascinates me. Just when you think there is nothing new to see, a new technique, ever beautiful, comes along. Thanks for keeping the excitement going!

  3. Marijke, 23 January, 2009

    Hi Cindy,
    Thank you for the tip! I’m going to try this.
    When I make thin pieces, they break easily.
    Which brand do you use?
    And is there something you can do to make them less breakable?

  4. Cindy Lietz, 23 January, 2009

    @Maria: We’ve only begun scratching the surface with what you can do with polymer clay! It is a medium you can never run out of ideas with!

    @Marijke: I use Premo Sculpey clay. It is very strong and does well in thin pieces. Some doll artists like to add Fimo Mix Quick to their clay to make it stronger, so you can try that as well. Always bake your pieces for at least an hour if you want them to be strong. Click the link by my name for more info on that.

  5. Ristak, 23 January, 2009

    I really love this idea and how the slices look after baking. I just have one huge problem. I have a major fear of light bulbs. I hate to be near them, or even touch one. I had one explode on me one time, and ever since I have had the fear.

    At least it gives me an idea in my head. I just need to figure out something else to use. = )

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Cindy Erickson, 24 January, 2009

    Cindy, Very interesting :) I wonder if Ristak could use a small rounded bowl or cup instead of a light bulb? I look forward to trying this new cupped shape bead. Thanks!

    Cindy E.

  7. Ginger, 24 January, 2009

    That was a neat technique. I wish that you would do more video tutorials on the making of some intricate cane designs. Thanks

  8. Cindy Lietz, 24 January, 2009

    @Ristak: Wow that’s too bad you had a bad experience with light bulbs. :-( My guess is that bulb must have got pretty hot to explode like that. I can tell you that I’ve baked polymer clay on many bulbs at 265 degrees and for hours and have never even seen one crack. But if you are still worried, Cindy E’s idea for using a round glass bowl should work well for you.

    @Cindy E: Thanks for the suggestion for Ristak. That was very helpful!

    @Ginger: I will. The intricate cane designs have many steps so they can’t usually be done in a 5 min video. As soon as I can get enough time, I’ll film some cane courses so stay tuned!

  9. Ristak, 24 January, 2009

    I guess I should have given more info. I have never used a bulb to bake clay on. So the exploding bulb was not in the oven. It was a bulb I was trying to take out of a lamp……It just scares me in general to handle them. = )

    Thats not a bad idea Cindy E…..I will have to play with some objects to see if I can get that effect.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 26 January, 2009

    Let us know if you find a great alternative Ristak. I’d love to see what you come up with!

  11. Cindy Lietz, 03 April, 2010


    Polymer Clay Projects

    Hello to Everyone,

    Some new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Baking Polymer Clay on a Light Bulb), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Carolyn-F. The link by my name will take you to where you can see them, along with a bit of a write up. Hopefully they will inspire you to achieve great things with your own polymer clay projects.

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