Polymer Clay: Stroppel Canes

Here is a fun polymer clay technique, especially for packrats who like to keep all their scraps for “someday” or “another project”. It’s called a Stroppel Cane, named for Alice Stroppel, the designer who created the technique.

With this technique, you layer thin sheets of black polymer clay with leftover bits of canes. You can even use canes that didn’t turn out the way you intended, or “less than successful” attempts at a new technique. You should create at least 2 layers of canes, with black on the top and bottom and between each layer of cane slices, but you can use as many layers as you like.

Once you have your layers made, you can cut the stack in half lengthwise and stack them. If you have a large enough stack, you can split it again and restack. Then you would slice down through the stack to get your cane slices. You can use these slices for any project that you would use with a cane. Depending on the colors in your scraps, you can get some beautiful, random colors in your slices. Also, instead of just leaving the cane stack as a flat, somewhat rectangular shape, you can roll it into a spiral, or fold it into a fanfold or accordion shape, or even incorporate it into a larger, more complex cane. Or use a different color (or translucent) for between the cane slice layers. Or maybe all metallics. Or a specific color or group of colors. Use your imagination to create new ways to use your Stroppel Canes.

I’ll try to make a few quick canes to make my own Stroppel Cane, and show you my results. If I do manage to make something, I’ll link the post here. [Edit: Well, that hasn’t happened yet, but you just never know when it might happen, so stay tuned.]

Ooooooh! I found a fun tutorial for a Brain Cane! Maybe I’ll make one of those and use it for this! That could be fun!

Here’s a video to show you how to create your own Stroppel Cane:



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