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Basic Spliced Cane

By Anna T. Hill, edited by Sunni Bergeron
I am a single mom with two teenage boys. I work in an office full time and fit my clay around that, Little League games, football games, gaming conventions, computers and painting miniatures with my older son. I was an art major in college but was mostly into printmaking which was difficult to fit around kids. Poly clay was a great discovery for me...I found a Klutz book with Sculpey samples, tried to get the boys interested, but they were at an age where all they were interested in creating were phallic symbols. I said fine, but you'll have to bake it yourself! I have been claying for a couple of years, but really took off after taking a week long workshop with Pier Voulkos (my first and so far only poly clay class) last summer. This year, I will be returning to Split Rock Arts for a weeklong workshop with Lindly Haunani!

This spliced cane is one of the multitude of things I learned from Pier, not the least of which was how to work with fimo. She is a fantastic teacher with a huge amount of energy, a love of clay, a wealth of experience, loves sharing her techniques and is a cat person to boot! I have quite a few cats myself, so everything I make has cat hair inclusions at no extra charge.


  • Using a 2 ounce block of clay cut into 8 equal parts for measurement:
  • 7 parts of Premo White Pearl
  • 2 parts of Premo Silver
  • 7 parts of Premo Ultramarine
  • tissue blade or cutting utensil
  • clean work surface
Step 1: Pick up 1 piece of silver and place it with the Ultramarine. Pick up the other piece of Silver and place it with the White Pearl. Blend the 1 piece of Silver with the Ultramarine. Blend the other piece of Silver with the White Pearl. At this point, your clay will also be conditioned thoroughly.

Step 2: Form the two blended colors into short, fat plugs.

Step 3: Now, stand the two plugs on end like in the picture in step two. Slicing vertically, cut them into either quarters or eighths. To keep things simple here, I am using quarters.

Step 4: Lay the Ultramarine quarters on their backs with the points up in the air. Here is a view from as if you were on your work surface next to the clay. Iíll do the rest this way for simplicity.

Step 5: Now we put the silver quarters with the point facing down into the spaces between the blue ones. Compress the quarters together.

Step 6: Now, we begin to reduce the cane. Compress evenly on the top and the sides. The picture displays what will be the the end of the cane.

Step 7: Here is what the cane looks like from the side now. Keep drawing it out longer while keeping the ends roughly square.

Step 8: Continue to compress and reduce and stretch out the cane. Here, lookong at the end, you see the cane beginning to take shape.

Step 9: Continue the reduction process, making it longer and longer (here is another side view after reducing). When it gets long enough to cut, you can either leave it square or make it round. Cut it into two or more equal pieces and recombine.

Step 10: Below are four ways you can reduce your cane to make components for new canes. Click on the picures for a closer look. The basic Spliced Cane is complete!

And here we are! Here are a few ways you can put your canes together. Now it's your turn to come up with your own innovations!

Click Here for Anna's Spliced Jellyroll Cane!

Spliced Cane Tips

From Emma Beane

Tip: "The Spliced Cane looks great with a skinner blend for one colour against black as the other!"

Thank you, Anna You can Email Anna at or see her work at her PhotoPoint Album

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