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Poly's Clay Castle

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by Jan Ruhnow

There are many ways to create this cane, but this is one of the simplest, in my opinion. This technique is also very simple to create without a pasta machine. Start by conditioning two colors of clay. For this lesson I'm using transluscent and fushcia.

Roll out a sheet of each color of clay on the largest setting of your pasta machine.

Step 2:
Cut the fuschia sheet in half and stack one half on top of the other. Again, cut this stack in half and stack you 4 layers. Trim the ends.


Step 3:
You'll want to cut sections from this stack that are the same width as the thickness of the clay. For instance.. in my lesson the stack is 10mm (using the Marxit tool) thick. I marked the stack with the 10mm side of the tool and cut pieces that are 10 mm wide... thus each "section" is 10mm x 10mm square.


Step 4:
Cut the translusent stack in the same manner and begin to stack these sections alternating the colors as shown.


Step 5:
Use your hands to compress and push the cane tighten it up and remove any air pockets.

Step 6:
To reduce, begin rolling one end of the cane with an acrylic rod, as you hold on to the other end of the cane. Gently roll, and pull with your hand in the opposite direction. Turn the cane ¼ turn and repeat. Continue until the cane is the size you want.


Step 7:
Trim the ends and cut to see the pattern.

You can do this technique using as many sections across and up and down as desired. Experiment and see what you can do!

©2001-Jan Ruhnow

Thank you, Jan Ruhnow. You can Email Jan at or visit her Website at

Checkerboard Cane Tips
From Susan
Tip: "An even easier way to make a checkerboard cane: put two rectangles of clay on top of each other. Cut in half and put the 2 bits on top of each other again (alternating the colours). Make as many layers as you like, but make an even number of them. Then cut sheets (from top to bottom) of the same thickness as the stripes you can now see. Stack the striped sheets on top of each other in such a way that you get a checkerboard pattern (mirror every other sheet)."

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