The Checkerboard Cane is one of the most basic and simple canes. You can incorporate as many colors as you like but typically a checkerboard is two contrasting colors. The Checkerboard Cane is different from the others in the Basic Canes series because it is a square cane instead of round. Practicing good technique is important to creating accurate canes. Once you have mastered making simple canes with good technique, you will be able to combine your simple canes together to create more complex ones.
Project and Video by Amy Koranek
Getting Started: Please make sure your work area is covered and you are not working on an unprotected surface. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Work ‘n Bake Clay Mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Uncured clay may damage unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Be sure to cover your crafting area appropriately. Start with clean hands, unwrap and knead clay until soft and smooth, or condition by running clay though a Pasta Machine. We recommend using a designated machine for clay purposes only. When working with multiple colors, clean hands with soap and water or baby wipes (we have found that baby wipes work best) before switching colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces firmly together. Wash hands after use. Baking: Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). After you are done creating; for best results bake clay on an oven-proof surface such metal, aluminum foil, an index card or the Sculpey® Clay Mat at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per ¼" (6 mm) thickness according to package directions. Oven safe glass or ceramic surfaces are also acceptable for baking; however please note that the baking times may take longer as the glass or ceramic surfaces take longer to heat up. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME.
Sheet equal amounts of Black and White through the Sculpey® Clay Conditioning Machine on the thickest setting or 1/8” thick.
Fold each sheet in half to double it. Roll over them with the Sculpey® Acrylic Clay Roller to smooth together and press out air bubbles.
Layer the White on top of the Black. Roll over them with the Sculpey® Acrylic Clay Roller to smooth together and press out air bubbles.
Measure the thickness of the Black or the White color. Use this dimension to mark the flat surface of the clay. You will want to cut stripes from the stacked sheet that are the same width as each color is deep. Mark the top of the sheet with the dimension you’ve measured. Using a straight edge and Sculpey® Super Slicer, carefully cut down through both layers of colors. Remove this strip, flip it upside down so that the opposite color is on top and push it to the stack to join. Continue marking and cutting the stack so that you have alternating strips of colors going all the way across the sheet.
You will want to end up with an even number of stripes
Gently pull the stripes apart into two pieces that have an equal number of stripes. Stack one on top of the other creating a checkerboard pattern.
To reduce the cane, gently roll along the length of the cane with the Sculpey® Acrylic Clay Roller. Turn the cane 1/4 turn and roll over the top again. Keep turning and rolling over the cane until it is reduced to the diameter you desire. Slice gently with the Sculpey® Super Slicer to use in projects.
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