Canes are logs of polymer clay with a design running through it. They can range from simple to complex patterns.
One of the first patterns I learned was the swirl. It has so many possibilities. You can use only 2 colours but make sure they are contrasting to get the maximum effect. The beads below show you what I mean. See how the black and white are so effective? And the other colours as well.
You can try out using 3 or 4 colour swirls. Or even more. When you’re doing this, place the light colour next to the darker colours in a repeating fashion. Then your cane won’t look like one blend. You’ll be able to see the distinctive shades.
Other more complex canes are usually a combination of simple cane patterns – swirl, bullseye, Skinner blends – to name a few. The first picture shows a variety of simple canes and the second one shows that by wrapping the canes in a sheet of black clay, it becomes one kaleidoscope cane. This is then ready to slice and combine to create a fuller pattern which is used for pendants or beads or even covering glass.
I usually recommend starting with creating simple canes to new students as this builds confidence in working with the clay.
What canes can you start to work on today?