Friday, January 01, 2010

Santa Brought Joy To My World

Happy New Year, Everyone! My new year is certainly off to a happy start, thanks to Santa Claus and Marble Man. For years, I've wanted to try using polymer clay to make beads, but haven't been willing to lay out the cash for all the supplies and utensils needed to do it right. I've had this in my shopping cart at, along with it's cousin, for over two years now, just waiting.

This Christmas, Marble Man (my enabler) bought them for me. He also threw in a new toaster oven so I can fire my creations without poisoning our kitchen appliances. What a guy! I added in some Christmas cash, and that was enough to buy a pasta machine and a small selection of clay colors. Ready, set, PLAY!

The books have very clear instructions and helpful photos to go along. After a couple of false starts, and about 4 hours of time, I finished a beautiful cane in a kaleidoscope design. I sliced off very thin slivers and applied them to a base bead of plain clay. Voila! A set of gorgeous beads ready for the oven.

Click on the image and you'll be able to see more details

Puffed up with confidence after this first attempt, I moved on to a flower cane...

a little more complex than the kaleidoscope cane, but very rewarding when finished. The canes are built from lots of layers of clay. When the first stage was complete, the cane was about 2 inches across, and about 4 inches long. The next step involves squeezing that fat cane down, and rolling it to reduce the diameter to about a half inch or less. That initial fat cane makes a VERY LONG final result!

I used it in a similar fashion as the kaleidoscope cane, slivers on a bead, but wasn't in love with the result.

For the next bead, I made an oval shape of clay. Then added thin slices of my new flower cane, and nestled in some slices of the kaleidoscope cane for fun. I topped off the ends with overlapping leaves made from a blended piece of clay (yellow to green), and I have a pretty wild focal bead.

Today, I fired up the computer and spent some time on You Tube where I found some really good instructional videos. I chose a veined leaf cane as my project for today, and boy-oh-boy, that was fun.

I have visions of using these as fringe ends for a future bead-embroidered necklace. It's spectacular in my head -I just hope I can make it happen. Stay tuned...

copyright 2009 Shibori Girl


Snap said...

WOWOWOWOW!!! Santa and Marble Man were good to you! But then, you deserve it! Happy New Year!

somepinkflowers said...

like you are not
an over*achiever ALREADY,


yes, shiboru girl,
you needed something to do


{{ love how you scored
a new toaster oven out of the deal
with santa---
one CANNOT cook beads
jam-up and jelly-tight
right next to the meatloaf---
AND a pasta maker!
you so rock
in the acquisition department. }}

Gypsy Moon Designs said...

Way cool! You Tube is such a great resource.

Happy New Year!

Stephanie said...

These 'first' attempts are wonderful!! I am ALWAYS stunned by these creations...You are going to have sooooo much fun with this!

Happy new Year!!


Alice Stroppel said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of PC. What great canes, and you are just starting out. You go!

SweetbriarStudio (Christie) said...

Wow, I love, love, love them! Move over swarski (besides, obviously that name is much harder to spell than Kate!). I love it and can't wait to see what you have for the next show and tell. Yea Marble Man!

rochambeau said...

The PERFECT gift from Marble Man!
I can see from the previous post, you are already playing with your new toy and beginning to master it!!