Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Polymer Clay Tutorial: Jellyroll Heart Cane

This pretty cane tutorial is just in time for Valentine's Day!  
red clay (for the heart)
black clay (for the background)

pasta machine or acrylic roller
tissue blade
cutters in various sizes (optional)


Condition your clay and roll both colors out in long strips with the red being about twice as thick as the black.

I rolled the red out on a #0 setting on my Atlas and the black was at #3 or #4.

Lay it on the work surface with the black on top and press your blade into the end of the clay at an angle.  (This step is optional - it just makes it easier to get the jellyroll started.)

Carefully roll the clay up into a jellyroll, pressing firmly to keep any excess air out.  Roll up about 3/4 of the strip.

Now flip it over so the red is on the top.

Make your indentation with the blade again if desired and roll up that end just one revolution or so.

Now make a long, narrow wedge of black to start filling in the inside of the heart.  I missed a photo here but I just took a block of conditioned clay and trimmed it to the shape with my tissue blade.

Make another block of clay from the black about the same width as the length of the cane.

Find yourself a cutter with a round part about the same size as the larger part of the jellyroll.  I'm using a gingerbread man head.  It doesn't need to be a full circle.

Stand your block of black on end and use the cutter to cut out a round part lining up with one corner of the block as seen here:

See?  It fits!  Now for the larger curve.

Find another cutter that will fit the curve of the black part you've already put in there and cut away at your block again.

Stick the block in there and press it in firmly.  Now, if you are at all familiar with my methods, you know I like to overpack and cut away the excess.  That's what I did here.  Line up your blade with the two jellyrolls as shown and cut away the excess black.  You should have a flat surface there with no gaps.  If the second block of black wasn't big enough, you may have a gap.  You'll need to fill that in before continuing.

Make sure you trim away some of the black on the smaller jellyroll and expose the red underneath.  If you don't, the bottom of the heart will have a gap.

Now fill in the back of the heart with black the same way.

Roll out some thick sheets of black and wrap them around 3/4 of the cane.  You don't need to do any on the inside of the heart.

Trim the inside of the heart flat again and then cut away the excess on the ends to make a rectangular cane.  I laid a second blade across the cane to make sure the two long ends were parallel.

Now you have a rectangular half-heart cane.

Cut it in half.

Put the two halves together to form a heart.

I wanted my cane to be square so I added a sheet of black to each side of the cane.  Your's may or may not need this step.

Let it rest for a while and then reduce.  Now go find something to cover with it!

I covered (yet another) pen.  I think I'll make some filigree hearts out of the red to make charms for the pen.

Hope you like it!