Tribal Style Polymer Clay Beads – Geometric Cane Variations Ideas

Basket Weave Bead“Versatility certainly applies to this tribal cane… an infinite number of possibilities.” ~Joyce-M

The other day I showed you some cool variations on the Tribal Cane from the Vol-020-1 polymer clay tutorial video. Some of you were amazed at just how many options there are for being able to use a geometric cane such as this.

I turned on the computer this morning, my assembled four inch tribal cane in hand so that I could follow the final cutting and assembling instructions. Now mind you, it took me the better part of several hours to get it right. Imagine my pride when I finally ended up with something that looks like the cane in the tut. Then what do I see this morning? All these exquisite complex variations taunting me, teasing me, saying, “OK, you think you know how to do it now? Just watch this!” Have a great day, everyone.
~Elizabeth-S

I love geometric designs and this tribal cane looks like it has endless possibilities.  I am still playing with the extruder flower cane (which is SO much fun) but will definitely have a go at this technique next. ~Susan-B

Versatility certainly applies to this tribal cane. I love geometrics and have done some quilting so now I will have to check in that area of my crafts and see what designs pop out. Thanks, Cindy, for an awesome tut and as usual an infinite number of possibilities.” ~Joyce-M

Today’s photo is of a bead created with one of the tribal cane variations. To me it looks a lot like a basket weave pattern when reduced down, as on the tube bead shown above.

I really like the subtly of this pattern. It is surprising how such a bold and graphic design such as the tribal cane can look so delicate when pieced together differently and made much smaller.

These beads would look wonderful with some animal print beads, or chunky African recycled glass beads. What do you think? How would you use polymer clay beads like these. Your creative thoughts and ideas are always welcome here!

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  1. carolyn, 14 January, 2010

    Chunky beads – funniest thing: a bag of them fell off my bead shelves last night. One of these chunky ones, a heart covered with this cane, a few short feathers, all attached with strip of leather on a key ring = fob for guys? What do you think?

  2. Cindy Lietz, 14 January, 2010

    Sure why not Carolyn! Why don’t you make some for your upcoming church sale and see how they go. Woman might like them too. I know I would!

  3. Elizabeth S., 14 January, 2010

    I love this tube bead! It’s amazing that the strong pattern of the initial tribal cane can be reduced to something so delicate. beautiful!

  4. Naum Gargani, 15 January, 2010

    RE: your Polymer Clay Beginners Course:

    Hi Cindy,

    As well as being thoroughly enjoyable, your videos are very well made, concise and to the point. Your explanations and demonstrations are very clear and you always offer little extras. Instructions are easy to follow – I think your beginner’s course is so thorough that it’s relatively easy to progress quickly once you’ve been through it. So, more of the same please and more advanced techniques would be welcome.

    In terms of improvements, I can honestly say that there is little that comes to mind, you’re doing such a great job. I occasionally have a question but I usually find the answer in one of your videos or in the member benefits question and answer sections.

    I only just started applying what I’m learning from your videos and what I’ve tried works, so there you go! I just made some beads and tried out a few canes and I’m going to make some jewellery with them (I’m a jewellery designer/maker with a graphic design background). Can’t wait to try all the techniques out and experiment more, I’m falling in love with this polymer clay material. I want to try combining polymer clay and silver (both traditional silversmithing and silver clay). I think the combination would be interesting. Perhaps something for you to ponder?

    In terms of pricing you are competitive and offer good value for money. I think this is a strong advantage over other online tutorials that charge the price of a complete book on polymer clay for one or two tutorials. In that case I usually opt for the book! I think this competitive edge will bring you more business, so good luck with that!

    Last but not least, well done and thanks. I look forward to my next tutorial.

    All the best,
    Naum Gargani

  5. Cindy Lietz, 15 January, 2010

    Hi Naum,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write those very kind words. Sharing feedback like this really gives others great insight about what they can expect from the video tutorials. I truly appreciate your help.

    In regards to more advanced videos, those come each week with your library subscription. I’ve got an endless supply of new techniques to teach. So do stay tuned.

    Very much looking forward to hearing more about how your beads and jewelry projects are coming along.

    ~Cindy

  6. Debbie, 10 February, 2010

    Help! I need to know how to make chunky beads. They are a big hit here in Texas. I am doing a show soon and everyone wants chunky bead necklaces, bracelets, earrings. The zebra print is the thing. I have made some by just pulling clay and and just making a glob putting a hole in and painting but it is very time consuming. Any ideas? I would really love some help.

  7. carolyn, 10 February, 2010

    @Debbie: Debbie – Do you have Cindy’s 019 videos? Those faux bone beads would make great chunky beads. Another couple that popped into my head are the Jupiter in video 014 and Faux Pebble in video 012. Hope this helps.

  8. Phaedrakat, 11 February, 2010

    @Debbie: You can also use aluminum foil for the center of the beads, so you don’t waste as much clay. Cindy has an article about it here: Making Large Polymer Clay Beads without Using a Lot of Clay

    Then, you can cover the outside of the bead with one of the techniques Carolyn mentioned, or cover it with cane slices (Cindy has several videos about canes.) Even if you stick with your current painting technique, you’ll save on clay.

  9. Tina Adams, 09 April, 2011

    Cindy I noticed when I made a comment my icon is missing. How do I add that image? I went to dashboard and profile but did not see a spot…

  10. Cindy Lietz, 10 April, 2011

    Hi Tina – that icon you are referring to is called a Gravatar. The link by my name will take you another comment where I provided instructions on how to upload your personalized image.

    Please note that the Gravatar images are associated with the email that you use when you post your comments here at the blog. And I noticed that in the past, you have used several different email addresses. So if you want your icon image to show up for all your comments consistently, you must always use the same email address when you post comments.

    By the way, your email address info is not made public for privacy reasons… it is just what the Gravatar system uses to recognize that it is you… so they can provide the correct image when you post your comments.

    For more info… you can also use ‘gravatar’ as the keyword in the search box to find other comments where members have been discussing this topic.

    It will wonderful to finally be able to see your photo too :-)

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