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Poly's Clay Castle

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by Sunni Bergeron
Materials Needed:
  • Equal amounts of 6 colors of the same brand of clay: e.g. all Fimo, Fimo Soft, Premo, Sculpey III, whatever.
  • Tissue blade, Exacto™ Blade, manicure scissors
  • Small tile, tin or something to use for flattening
  • Ruler or some sort of straight edge
  • Clean work surface

Condition the clay by manipulating it. Fold it, run it through a pasta machine, mash it, twist it, work it until it's workable. To test if it's conditioned enough, roll the clay into a fat snake and bend it in half. If there are no cracks or fissures along the bend, the clay is ready.

Here are the colors I have chosen to work with: fuchsia, green, yellow, blue, and orange with black for the outside.




Step 1: Choose your first color and roll it into a snake. Width and length is your choice. I made mine about as long as the width of my palm.

Step 2: Using the tool (here I'm using an Altoid tin) for flattening, press down on the snake until it is noticeably flat. You don't want to make it too flat, because you're going to square it up.

Step 3: Pull the flattened snake up and set it on the narrow side. Using your tool for flattening, press down again until the snake is reasonably square. 

Step 4: Pull the cane up again, give it a quarter turn and flatten again. Repeat until it is perfectly square.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 2. - 4. with each of the colors, making sure they are the same thickness as shown above.




Step 6: Place the squared snakes in the order you want them to appear in the cane and then flatten them all slightly to make sure they are exactly the same height.




Step 7: Press the squared snakes together just firmly enough to make sure they adhere together.

Step 8: Using your tissue blade, eyeball where the center is and lightly mark it.

Step 9: Using the center mark, now turn your tissue blade on the diagonal. The more acute the angle, the more pronounced your chevron will be. I cut mine on a slight angle.

Step 10: Pull the two halves apart and flop the one on your right over on the other side.

Step 11: Place the two halves back together and press them firmly so they adhere nicely. If you want the colors to match up, trim the ends off the right half and turn it 180 degrees before pressing the two halves together.

Step 12: .Trim all four sides of the snakes. You now have chevron stripes.

Step 13: Roll the clay for the outer covering out into a long, thin, sheet. How thick is, again, up to you. Mine was about 1/8 inch thick.

Step 14: .Upend your chevron stripes and place it on the outer wrap so you can measure how wide to cut it.

Step 15: Place the ruler next to the chevron stripes and make sure it is the same distance from the edge all the way along the length of the wrap.

Step 16: Remove your chevron stripes and set them aside. Use your Exacto™ Blade to cut along the straight edge along the length of the wrap.

Step 17: Wrap the cut strip around the chevron stripes as shown above. Trim it so the ends meet but do not overlap. Blend the join so it adheres and becomes virtually unnoticeable.

Step 18: Press the wrap from all sides to make sure it adheres to the chevron stripes well.

Step 19: Using your tissue blade, eyeball where the center is and lightly mark it.


Step 20: Reduce the cane by pinching from the sides and pulling from the ends. For directions on how to reduce a cane, go HERE.

Voila - here are the results. My recommendation is to reduce the cane a little, cut off some and set that aside for future use. Reduce the rest of the clay some more, cut off another chunk and set it aside. Reduce the rest of the clay again. Continue until you have 3 or more different sizes of the same cane. Remember, you can always reduce a larger cane. It's a little harder to upsize a smaller cane - although that, too, can be done. But - that's another lesson someday!

©2001-Sunni Bergeron

Thank you, Sunni You can Email Sunni at or visit her Website at

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