Thursday, January 08, 2009

I'm only a *few* years behind the times. . .

A couple of days ago, I finally made my very first "retro cane". Yeah, I'm right on top of all the latest, hottest trends. ;o)


I've been interested in this technique for a while-- another of those things I just hadn't gotten around to trying. If you're one of the other two or three claying people out there who haven't given this a try, yet-- ;o) -- you should really go for it! It was fun and so easy, assuming you have a decent clay extruder. Speaking of which. . .

For a while, I was put off the idea of extruding by the fact that it hurts to push clay through one of the old syringe-style extruders. Then my husband made a bellows-type press for my extruder (using a hinge and two scraps of lumber with strategically placed holes), which worked very well. However, I must've put too much pressure on the poor thing, because one day I noticed that the part that presses the clay through the tube had bent, rendering the whole thing useless.

Fortunately, my Christmas wishlist entry of a new clay extruder (this one by Makin's Clay) didn't go unheeded. ;o) I've only used it a few times so far, but I'm very impressed and can't reccommend it enough. It's much easier to operate than my old one was.

I'm looking forward to using this technique again, soon. So many color combinations to try!

ETA: Of course, you can also make a retro cane without any extruder at all, just by combining several different bull's-eye canes worked in coordinating colors. It's a lot more work than the extruder method, but it's certainly possible.

5 comments:

intothedawn said...

Hi, love your blog-- its great to find another poly clay enthusiast!

I love the Makin's Clay extruder and have been using it for over a year-- ALOT. Unfortunately, I do have a beef with it-- the metal it's made out of is so soft that if you use it a ton, like I do, the threads get worn down over time and it no longer works. I've gone through 4 (yes, FOUR) of them in the past year, and they aren't exactly cheap to replace! But while it lasts, it works like a dream and is worth its weight in gold.

Michael said...

Hi! Thanks!

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. No, I wouldn't want to have to buy four of them a year! Too bad they don't make them from something a little stronger...

Anonymous said...

I just made this cane last week different colors though! I too got a makins for christmas and love it.
You will be amazed at the things you can do with the extruded clay now that you can actually do it without pain!
Julie S

Anonymous said...

Did you make the retro canes with the extruder? Those are soooo cool!! What awesome colors. I've never made those before.

XUE said...

Wow Michael! I love these! I have not done polymer anything for awhile as my latest craze is sewing & stamping. I was at yr sewing blog too & truly appreciate yr useful posts! Happy Easter greetings from Tokyo!