Polymer Clay Ikat Cane Tutorial

Polymer clay Ikat Canes
Polymer clay Ikat Canes

In this tutorial I'll be showing you how to make a polymer clay Ikat Cane. It’s one of the more fun canes to make and a great one for beginners to play around with. It's really versatile too, and can be used in many different techniques such as flower petals and eye canes.

The original version was invented by Donna Kato. I’ll be showing that version of the cane in this tutorial along with my own spin on the technique. I'm sure you'll be hooked on it by the end of the video.

You will need the following supplies:

  • Polymer clay (I'm using Souffle Sea Glass, Jade and White)
  • A tissue blade
  • A pasta machine
  • An acrylic roller

Steps To Making A Polymer Clay Ikat Cane

Traditional Ikat Cane:
  • To start you’ll need two triangles of polymer clay. We’re going to make a Skinner Blend from these.

    See my Skinner Blend Tutorial if you haven't made one before.
  • You’ll start the Skinner Blend like you always do, folding and rolling, folding and rolling. The only difference is that you need to stop half way while the colors are still blocky. See the video to see exactly how far you should go.
  • Now lengthen your Skinner Blend by running it progressively through the pasta machine's settings until you get to the second or third thinnest. Roll in the direction of the stripes. Lengthen the stripes, don’t widen them.
  • Now you need to cut the Skinner Blend into segments perpendicular to the stripes in the Skinner Blend.
  • Take each of the segments and place them one on top of the other. Don’t flip them so that you have different colors touching each other. All the colors need to line up.
  • Once done, gently push the cane together to squish out air bubbles.
  • Butt the ends up to tidy them up.
  • You can cut it now if you want, but I like to reduce it so that I can cut and stack it once then cut it.
My Twist on the Ikat Cane:
  • Just like before, make the base for a Skinner Blend and start rolling it though the pasta machine. Instead of stopping half way this time, go until you’re almost done with just a few streaks though the Skinner Blend.
  • Lengthen your Skinner Blend and cut into sections like before.
  • You now want to arrange it in a step ladder sort of way. So start with the first section, take the next section and place it on top of the previous one, but slightly lower. Take another section and place it in the same position as the first section. The next section should be in the position of the second section again. So in the pattern of high, low, high, low and so on until you’re finished with all your sections. See the video for instructions.
  • Pinch the straggly ends together.
  • Press the cane together and reduce so that you can stack it.
  • Trim off the untidy ends.
  • Cut and stack once to produce a mirror image.
  • Press it together again and cut. You’ll find that the pattern is more muted and has almost a flame like pattern.
So those are the two ways of making a polymer clay Ikat Cane. I’m sure there are more ways to make it and I’ll be exploring these in the months to come.

Polymer Clay Ikat Cane Tutorial

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If you need more information on reducing your canes, take a look at my reducing polymer clay canes tutorial, where I show how to reduce round, square, triangular and hexagonal canes correctly.

If I have missed something, or you still have questions, please leave a comment below.

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