This easy to make flower cane is great for decorating beads and just about anything else you can think of.
Preheat oven to 275 °F. Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay. Condition all clay by kneading until it’s soft and smooth or running it through the Clay Conditioning Machine for several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
Step 1 Cane and Beads
Roll the Cadmium Yellow Hue clay into a ball, and then slightly flatten the ball into a cylinder about 2 inches long.
Step 2 Cane and Beads
Wrap the cylinder with a ¼ inch layer of Orange clay (#1 setting on Clay Conditioning Machine). Roll cylinder slightly to seal it.
Step 3 Cane and Beads
Reduce the cylinder to about 3/8-5/8" diameter and cut into 5 equal pieces at 1-1/2-2 inches long. NOTE: This is done by rolling the cylinder the applying pressure with the hands from the center out. The goal is to keep the cylinder the same diameter from end to end without bulges. Go slowly, and as the clay warms it moves smoothly and evenly.
Step 4 Cane and Beads
Lay the 5 pieces together so that they touch each other and then stand the new group on end. You should now have a small "fence" of clay rods.
Step 5 Cane and Beads
Gently wrap this line of rods into a circle and visually measure the diameter of the open center.
Step 6 Cane and Beads
Roll a cylinder of the Orange clay to fit this center and place it in the center of the group. Close the "petals" around the center and press lightly to seal.
Step 7 Cane and Beads
Now, roll a cylinder of the Cobalt Blue Hue clay to about 1/3 inch diameter and pinch up the top to form a long triangle of blue clay.
Step 8 Cane and Beads
Place a strip of this Cobalt Blue Hue triangle between each "petal" taking care to keep the point between the petals.
Step 9 Cane and Beads
Flatten the remaining Cobalt Blue Hue clay into a thin even sheet (1/8 " in diameter or #4 on Clay Conditioning Machine). Wrap around the outside of the clay "cane". Trim the edges and roll slightly to smooth seam.
Step 10 Cane and Beads
Press again gently to seal. Then squeeze from the middle of the assembled cane to each end. This should reduce the diameter of the cane and remove any air pockets which could cause distortion.
Step 11 Cane and Beads
Lay the cane on your work surface and roll to reduce to the diameter you wish your beads.
Step 12 Cane and Beads
Using the Super Slicer, slice your cane in ¼" to ½" slices to form your flat beads.
Drill holes in your beads with the Needle Tool and bake according to directions.
Step 1 Bobbles
Roll your flower cane to a smaller diameter of about 3/8".
Step 2 Bobbles
Roll a ball of scrap clay 1" in diameter.
Step 3 Bobbles
Make thin slices of the cane and lay them on the surface of the scrap clay ball so that they cover the surface.
Step 4 Bobbles
Cup your hands and gently roll the bead to blend the edges of the canes.
Step 5 Bobbles
Stop and check your work from time to time to see if the cane slice edges have blended.
Step 6 Bobbles
Drill your hole in your finished "bobble".
Step 7 Bobbles
Bake at 275 °F for 20 minutes per ¼" of thickness.
Step 1 Buttons
Assemble your flower cane and slice in 3/8" slices.
Step 2 Buttons
Using the Needle Tool, pierce 2 holes in the center of the flower, probably right on the edges of the Orange center.
Step 3 Buttons
It's best to angle the Needle Tool slightly from the outside edges to add strength to your button.
Step 4 Buttons
Bake as directed and sew to your garment.
Step 5 Buttons
Always make at least two more of your buttons than you need - in case you lose a few while enjoying your embellished garment.
Step 6 Buttons
NOTE: You can make the buttons out of the assembled flower WITHOUT the blue background. Press the assembled flower together gently, and carefully (WITH YOUR FINGERS) pull slightly to reduce.
Step 7 Buttons
Let the cane rest before cutting your buttons to keep the bottom petals from flattening when you cut the buttons. Or, place the cane in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Step 8 Buttons
Cut your buttons and place your thread holes as directed above.
Step 9 Buttons
Bake as directed.