You can create this cane using any contrasting colors of Kato Polyclay; however, the metallic colors offer a unique benefit if you manipulate the clay to capture the ''mica shift''--a process that aligns the mica found in metallic and pearl colored Kato Polyclay--for a look you'll be wild about!
Condition 1/3 package of gold clay and 1/3 package of black clay.
Create a simple checkerboard cane
Roll out a sheet of each color on the lowest (or thickest) setting of your rolling machine. Cut the black sheet in half and stack the sheets on top of each other for a double layer of black. Repeat, to create a double layer of gold.
Place your gold clay on top of the black clay and trim the ends. Cut this stack in half and stack again. You should have a striped loaf of black and gold.
Using a ruler, mark six lines 1/4 inch apart on the stacked loaf and cut along the marks making six equal slices. Reassemble the slices into a loaf, reversing every other slice. The reassembled cane should look like a checkerboard.
Reduce the cane so it's approximately 3/4 inch wide.
Hold the cane on the diagonal so it is diamond-shaped. Flatten the cane with the palm of your hand. Use an acrylic rod to help flatten the cane evenly, so that you can comfortably run it through your rolling machine.
Run the flattened cane through your rolling machine. You should have a long strip of clay.
Unlike other Ikat canes, I only run this through the rolling machine once. Doing it too many times will make the Ikat design smaller which doesn't work as well with mica shift.
Cut the rolled strip in half, then stack the halves.
Cut the doubled strip in half and restack. Do this one more time, and you'll have Ikat cane.
Once you've made the cane, the trick to making it look fabulous is bringing up the gold micas.
Cut off a thick slice of your cane (around 1/4 inch thick) and run it through the rolling machine on the thickest setting.
Set your rolling machine down one setting, then turn your cane slice ¼ turn. Put the slice through the rolling machine, stretching the cane slice out further. Continue turning your cane slice and taking down the settings two more times, until you have a thin cane slice.
Stretching out the cane slice and running it through the rolling machine should have brought up the micas in the clay. Trim off the ragged edges on the sides and cut your thin piece of clay into 4 - 5 pieces.
Making an Ikat bead
Make a ball of scrap clay, slightly smaller than you would like your finished bead. Begin wrapping one of the slices of cane around the scrap clay. Continue adding slices randomly, making sure to cover the entire scrap clay core.
If you need more cane slices, cut another thick slice and make more like the one above.
After you have your bead core completely covered, roll the bead in your hands to smooth all the seams, then form your bead shape.
With a bead this size, put the bead down on a clean work surface and flatten it a little with the palm of your hand.
Work with the clay until you get a shape you're pleased with.
Use a needle tool or toothpick to put a hole through the bead, wherever you want one. At this time, smooth your bead out as much as you can to eliminate finishing time later.
To create a long paddle bead, use the same technique to make a thin slice of cane, and trim off the edges as before. Make a small log (about 1/4 inch in diameter) of scrap clay, and lay it on to the cane slice. Wrap the cane slice around the clay log.
Use your fingers to pinch the cane slice down around the ends of the cane and smooth the seam with your fingers.
Lay the bead on your work surface and slightly flatten with the palm of your hand.
Use a needle tool to put holes in your beads.
To continue bringing out the micas, wet sand your bead. Using wet-dry sandpaper, and sanding with water, gently sand your bead, first with 320-grit sandpaper, then 400-grit sandpaper, and last with 600-grit sandpaper. Use a soft cloth or buffing wheel to bring up the shine. If the sanding has been done well, simply rubbing the bead on denim jeans helps to easily bring up the shine.
The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We
encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.