Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Art of Cane Work (Millefiore) written by Wyvern Designs

The Art Of Cane Work (Millefiore)

written by WyvernDesigns

I have always been intrigued by those polymer clay pieces that use thin slices of a intricately crafted polymer clay canes.  The technique was originally used in making glass making and is called millefiori, which , in Italian, means thousand flowers.  Pieces of this detailed glass work have been dated to  ancient Roman, Phoenician, and Alexanderian times.  The technique was lost by the 18th century but rediscovered sometime in the 19th century.

I don't know who first tried to reproduce those beautiful glass beads using polymer clay, but they were a genius.  The process is long and involved, using rods of conditioned polymer clay in a myriad of shapes, round, square, triangular, and so on.  These rods are then wrapped with thin sheets of polymer clay and stacked together to form one unit.

Once the image is completed, the entire piece is rolled, squeezed and manipulated  until it is the desired size.  The messy ends are cut off to reveal a miniature masterpiece inside!  Then, thin slices are cut and applied to the base piece of polymer clay.

I've tried my hand at making some polymer clay canes.  I have never been too successful.  Most of the time my slices get distorted, smeared or are of varying thickness and are useless for the project I envisioned.   I keep trying, though, because I am fascinated by the process.

Some of the polymer clay artists from the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild on Art Fire have mastered this difficult technique.  Below are some pieces from those talented artists.

This Flat Modcane Pendant by Dream Weaver's Designs  is a wonderful example of the intricate pattern you can achieve using a relatively simple cane.

This Set of Purple Flowers on Yellow Clay Beads by Blue Morning Expressions  show the delicate beauty of these purple flowers using this intricate cane.

This Black and White Wine Bottle Stopper by Amy Crawley is made with extruded clay.  I'm not quite sure how that works, I'll have to research it, but it produces a bold and striking pattern.

Another piece using the extruding method is this lovely Red and White Extruded Rounds Necklace by Flower Child's Artsy Jewelry

These gorgeous Green Web and Orange Tigerlily Focal Beads by Art Makers Worlds  use the traditional method of cane making.

The Black and White Zentangle Cuff Bracelet by Second Sister At Moark Jewelry  fascinates me.  I just recently discover the Zentangle method and I am itching to try it, both on paper and in clay.

After seeing all these wonderful items, I suggest that everyone run out, buy some clay and start smooshing!

And be sure to stop by WyvernDesigns and check out all of her wonderful polymer clay creations!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Featuring Smoosher Member Black Dog Jewelry

Polymer Clay Smoosher member Kelly, of Black Dog Jewelry lives in a beautiful seaside community in Vero Beach Florida which offers her the perfect backdrop to make her wonderful jewelry.  Her unique handcrafted jewelry has a fun, whimsical flair.  She says "I take great pride in creating each piece and will not send it to you until I know it's perfect. Once you have it in your hands you will agree that Black Dog Jewelry is truly one of a kind."  And Rosa, the namesake of this company has a delightful story as well. "Rosa, the black dog of Black Dog Jewelry, is also one of a kind. She is a rescue who loves adventure. She enjoys going for walks, doing yoga with me, playing with her Daddy, attending doggy daycare, taking naps and she just discovered she enjoys going for a ride on the paddle boat!"
Kelly's interests include metal fabrication, precious metal clay, art jewelry, fine silver, unique, animal lover, wire wrapping, seaglass, beach glass, polymer clay, and critter.  These different influences can be seen in the wide variety of jewelry she creates.
You can find Black Dog Jewelry online at,,,, and
Below is a sample of some of the delightful jewelry you can find in her ArtFire shop.
Baby Gargoyle Polymer Clay Necklace
Baby Gargoyle necklace

Zebra Polymer Clay Necklace
Zebra necklace

Skunk Polymer Clay Necklace
Skunk necklace

Halloween Polymer Clay Wine Charms
Halloween Wine Charms

And there are plenty more cute creations where these came from!  Be sure to stop by Black Dog Jewelry to see all the wonderful things available!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Check out the entries for the Smooshers Autumn Colors/ Halloween Challenge!

The entries are in for the Polymer Clay Smooshers Autumn Colors/ Halloween challenge!
From Illusion Everything we have this totally awesome set of 3 Lady Skeleton cabochons available in your choice of colors. 
Set of 3 Skeleton Lady Cabochons Handmade You Choose Color
 The largest measures 1 1/2" tall by 1 1/4" wide. The smaller 2 measure 3/4" tall by 1/2" wide and they would be great to add to your own bezels or just add a jump ring, ear wires and a chain for a delightfully spooky jewelry set!
Just Jewelry by Joan made these wonderful little Pandora Style Pumpkin beads.

Pandora Style Pumpkin beads
These would be wonderful for any Fall jewelry you wanted to create!

Artmakers Worlds really outdid herself with this Halloween Green Bat Pincushion Clay Covered Tin.

Halloween green bat pincushion polymer clay covered altiod tin   It's unique and decorative on it's own, but is also functional. 25 long, green pearl head pins are included in the tin.  The hands and feet even glow in the dark!
Her second entry is this Spooky Night polymer Clay Covered Pen and Pencil Holder.
Spooky night polymer clay covered can pen and pencil holder
It features a big full moon, a bare tree with an owl on the branch and bats flying on the other side. The moon and even the owls eyes are made with glow in the dark clay.

This Wicked Witch art doll from Fantasy Clay would make a fabulous Halloween decoration.

Halloween Wicked Witch Polymer Clay Poseable Artdoll
 She has a soft poseable body with polymer clay head, hands and feet and stands on her own. She has a black dress with lace details and a soft shawl. Her hair is Tibetan mohair and she stands 9 inches tall.

Second Sister at MoArk Jewelry created this Falling Leaves Whimsical Polymer Clay necklace.

Falling Leaves Whimsical Polymer Clay Necklace
 The pendant is made with polymer clay and colored turquoise nuggets. The 3-dimensional tree and the gemstones add a sense of depth to this piece. The picture this creates is a tree that has lost most of its colorful fall leaves which are lying around the tree base.

CreativeCritters entered two pieces.  This Halloween Black Cat Keepsake Tin is the Halloween entry.

Halloween Black Cat Keepsake Tin w/ Glow in the Dark Charmed Insignia
The cute black cat is wearing a  witch's hat and has the insignia from the TV show Charmed on his chest in glow in the dark polymer clay.  The stars also glow, and glow in the dark powder has been added to the blue liquid clay on the lid.
This whimsical Autumn Dragon sculpture is the Autumn Colors entry.

Cute Red and Orange Autumn Colors Polymer Clay Dragon with Fall Leaves
The red and orange dragon is holding his collection of fallen leaves which have been sprinkled with gold glitter to add a bit of Autumn magic ;-)   The dragon measures 3 1/2 inches tall and would be a whimsical addition to your Fall decor.

So there you have it!  Lots of wonderful entries for this challenge!  And each of these items are available for sale- just click on the picture to be taken directly to the listing.  I want to thank everyone who entered this challenge, as well as everyone who has stopped by to check out these awesome handmade Halloween and Autumn creations :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Collection of earrings for Autumn from the Polymer Clay Smooshers