Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Queen City Clayers

Well we had our Queen City Clayers meeting here in Charlotte last Sat and I taught my poinsettia cane. I believe a good time was had by all. We had hoped for a contingent from Asheville to come to our meeting but unfortunately they had about a foot of snow dumped on them and they couldn't make it. Here in Charlotte the roads were clear so we pressed on without them. I promise to teach them at a later time if they want me to. Now even though I approached the cane as a tutorial and took pictures I had never really "taught" it before and I learned some things along the way. Since many have read the tutorial (and I thank all of those who took the time to leave such nice comments!) I thought I'd pass on a few more tips.

1) OK I know we all have our clay preferences. But really if you are going to cane I would have to suggest that you use Kato clay. Or a least combine Kato with Premo. I know Premo is easier to get at Michael's and A. C. Moore but several brought Premo and to be honest I just don't see how you use it for caning. I think they all get sick of hearing me call it MOOSH! (a new claying technical term) Yes it easier to condition (that's because it's moosh!) Yes it comes in more colors. But really if you are conditioning the clay anyway how much harder is it to add colors together. And trust me the time you spend conditioning is worth it if you canes maintain their shape after all the work you have done! Now to those Premo lovers out there I must confess that I am using Premo more and more. I use it often to back my pieces or when making beads and other stuff. I know there are people who cane with Premo. Kathleen Dustin (who I consider one of the greates polymer clay artists out there) canes with Premo. I would have to bet she leeches tfirst and this takes time when teaching and trying to get something finished in 3-4 hours. CLUMP!!! What's that you ask? That's the sound of me getting off my soapbox!

2) There seemed to be some confusion when it came to assembling the half petal shape. I have a posted a picture which I hope helps explain the process. Cut all of the reduced cane into about nine segments. Start with the smallest piece. put the next largest segment next to it with the flattened side facing the same way. Stack the remaining segments in the same way. I hope this helps.

Well that's enough on the poinsettia cane. You can see pictures from our meeting if you visit our blog I hope you all enjoyed the tutorial and I'd love to see pictures if any of you made your own canes.I am going back to work on my latest project. I have already worked on it for a week and I'd guess I am about one third of the way finished.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


  1. Hi Julie, I couldn't agree with you more on the Premo clay -- I do love some of the colors though (I prefer the Premo Zinc yellow over the Kato yellow that is rather weak) and I have found that pure Kato is a real pain sometimes as well so I have mixed both types for several years now. Also, here is what I did with a poinsettia cane I made some time ago:

  2. It's good to know that there are others out there who mix Kato with Sculpey or premo, I thought that I was just being lazy and cheap!:)
    It is a comforting thought to know that I'm not alone in this, however, I do agree that using straight Kato (however back-breaking, and hand-cramping it is to condition/reduce) it is the best I find for canework.
    Thanks again! Gnomesmom