Building a Cube Cane in Polymer Clay
written by: Valerie Hollis
Materials: Polymer clay in two contrasting colors, pasta machine, slicing blade, acrylic rod, work surface
The first thing we have to do in order to build a cube cane is visualize a cube. One way to do this is to draw one. If you're not familiar with how to draw a cube, look at the diagram below.
Next, we'll need to divide the cube into component shapes. There are numerous ways that a cube can be divided. In this lesson, we're going to divide it into squares and triangles. Look at the diagram below. The figure on the far right shows the components we'll use in this cane - 5 squares and 6 triangles.
We begin constructing the cube cane by layering sheets of clay to form a large rectangular stack (not pictured). Turn the rectangular stack on its side and cut 8 square logs from the stack as shown below.
Then, slice 3 of those square logs lengthwise on a diagonal to form the 6 triangles mentioned above. Now we've created all of the components that we need for the cane - 5 squares and 6 triangles pictured below.
After creating all of the components, attach 4 of the triangles to 4 of the squares and arrange all of the pieces as shown below.
To form the outlines, wrap each component with a sheet of clay that is a contrasting color to the base clay. In this demonstration, I used gray for the base color and black for the outline. I sandwiched sheets of gray and black and wrapped the components with the gray facing inward and the black facing outward. This helps to smooth the transition between the base and outline colors.
Puzzle all of the pieces tightly together to form the cube cane pictured below.
Reduce the cane by rolling from the center outwards with the acrylic rod. Try to maintain the relative position of each of the six sides of the cane to minimize distortion.
Once the cane has been reduced to the desired size, it's ready to slice and use. The following picture shows a veneer that I made by placing slices of this cane side-by-side and seaming them together.
Another way to complete the cane would be to wrap it in the base color and reduce it as a round log. Pictured below are slices from another cube cane I made using that method. The following cane was made with black as the base color and white as the outline color.
© 2007 Valerie Hollis - All rights reserved.