I decided to try and slice it using just a razor blade which smushed it even more, even though I was pulling the blade & quarter turning the cane after every slice. I have since gotten a tissue blade which helps, but I need lots more practice."Pulling"
the blade?? If you mean that you were kind of making a long "stroke" while making the cut, you really don't have to do that if the cane is well prepared, even when using a single-edge razor blade. I never do. The main thing is that the cane be as stiff as possible before making the cut (as well as using a sharp, thin, clean blade). Especially if you're using a soft
clay like Sculpey III, or even FimoSoft, and perhaps even Premo, you'll want to let the cane "rest" at least a few hours (or overnight) before cutting it for best results, or at least cool it awhile in the frig or freezer to firm it up.
It's hard to wait that long, I know!, so many clayers have learned the right "english" and materials to use while cutting which can make up for the lack of complete firmness, but even then, they'll save as much of the cane as possible for slicing later.
(If you haven't checked out the tips on slicing canes successfully at my site, they're on this page:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Canes--general.htm
...click on Cutting Canes
I think you nailed it with your guess on the cane composition. It was fine as a bullseye cane, but I thought I'd try a flower cane using the credit card method & really botched it up.
It started out as a bullseye cane? But the center log was so tiny... did the cane somehow get changed enough to make that happen, or did you start out with a tiny
As for the credit card method for making a flower cane, making sure the cane is relatively firm before you start if using a soft clay will help a lot if you didn't do that. Also, a credit card may have been too thick if the cane you were making was a small diameter when you tried to make the indentions.
If you want to make posey-like flower canes, I'd suggest you just go ahead and use the regular method anyway**:
... create a "petal" cane first (a round cane --a bullseye cane perhaps, iow a large
log covered by thin
...press along one side of the cane lengthwise to taper the round bullseye cane into a shape more like a leaf cane
...cut the petal cane into 4-6 or more segments
...place the segments around a small log (tapered ends toward the log) that's a different color than the petal cane's wrap
...fill in the areas between the top of the petals with small triangular logs of background color, if you want to keep the petals separated from each other at their tops
...add a final wrap of background-color around everything
**I may have explained them better in this previous post re "easier" canes to start with
Here's one visual lesson for doing a flower cane that way, but the same basic technique can be used to make all kinds
of radial-type flowers with quite complex looks by just varying things like the petal cane itself, or the number or shape of petals used, etc.:http://www.tooaquarius.com/learn/tutorials/six-petal-flower-cane (in this case, just forget the Skinner blend and the two inserted "veins," and follow the rest of the lesson)
And here's another way that's a little less precise:http://www.geocities.com/turkeymama/UPCG/tutorialpics/flowerwithgraphics.html (ignore the fact that she's using translucent and opaque clay for a special effect, and just use regular colors of your choice)
You also might have fun making a "chrysanthemum" cane
, which was the original flower cane made with a credit card to indent. For that one you'll want to start with a spiral
cane though (reasonably fat in diameter), and also make sure the indentions get pushed almost all the way to the center for the strongest effect:
lesson: http://www.pcpolyzine.com/2000december/chrysanthemum.html (ignore all the scraps she puts on the top sheet... just use two or more sheets, then roll up into a spiral cane)
more tips on making chrysanthemum canes:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/canes--instructions.htm
(...click on Translucent & Opaque Canes
, then scroll down several screenfuls to chrysanthemums