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Text and Illustrations by Kris Richards

What you will need:

  • Polymer Clay - 1-2 packages of at least 5 colors (unless doing black, white and gray cane)
  • smooth clean dust-free work surface such as glass or lexan/smooth countertop, etc.
  • Acrylic Brayer, Pasta Machine, or smooth-sided drinking glass
  • clean hands
  • well-lit work area
  • baby wipes or hand lotion and clean rough terry rag to clean-up with
Fig. 1
Step 1: Start by conditioning the clay colors you will be using. Make sure they are high contrast colors, and that you have both black and white in the combination.  (Black, white, and gray kaleidoscopes are GORGEOUS, by the way!!!)  Roll several varying sizes of snakes, all the same length.

Fig. 2 Step 2: Flattten two sheets of color so that they are as wide as the snakes you rolled in step 1.  Use these sheets to weave in and out between the snakes, wrapping it around and between them as you construct a "pyramid" of clay... or a long triangle shape...(see below; step 4).

Fig. 3
Step 3: The goal is to keep the clay in a triangular shape as you stack the snakes on top of one another.

Fig. 4 Step 4: Continue wrapping and stacking the clay, and press into a solid triangular-shaped cane. If you need to, roll an acrylic brayer over the surfaces to maintain the triangular shape. Pull and gently tug to reduce the cane, flipping and gently tugging to reduce. Sometimes the ends (outside of cane) will extrude out further than the middle of the cane. In that case, "fold" the extrusions into the center of the cane, making a cap. This will contain the clay and keep the cane from distorting.

Fig. 5
Step 5: reduce the cane again, and cut in half.

Fig. 6
Fig. 7 Step 6: Again, butt the cane together at the cut. Repeat process , etc. until you have two equiateral triangles. Press them together to make a square cane. Voila! you now have a Kaleidoscope Cane!

Fig. 8 You may wish to reduce it even further to make an even more tiny and complex-looking cane, or stack four canes on top of each other and make another square!

Step 7: What to do with it???

(Hint... click here to see the next page!)

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