Sunday, December 9, 2012

Easy Winter Tree Cane Tutorial

Winter sunsets are my absolute favorite! There's something so magical about the vivid colors of the sky and clouds traced by the stark black of the leafless trees… it's like nature's own stained glass!

I don't do a whole lot of caning these days, but for today's post I wanted to share one of my own cane designs that I created a few years back inspired by the winter trees.

It starts with a log of translucent clay—you can of course use any color. I trim the ends so it stands straight.

Next I make an off center cut all the way through the log and cover one side with a sheet of black clay. And then I put the log back together—that forms the main part of the tree branch.

To make the twigs on the branch, I make several more cuts through the translucent log, each time inserting a sheet of black clay and putting it back together before the next cut.

Once I get all the twigs I want, I reduce the cane by rolling and stretching.

Here's the branch reduced.

Then I cut my reduced branch cane into six equal lengths.

And then using the black line from the base of the branch as a guide, I give each length a tear drop shape.

I place all the branches side by side and press them together, making sure that the base of each branch is against the table and straight. I then cut that arrangement in half.

The two halves side by side—it's starting to look like a tree!

To the base of each half I add three strips of translucent clay—they will outline the trunk.

I make the trunk with one sheet of black running to the base of the top branches and then on either side of that I add another sheet about 2/3rds of the height to give it some taper.

I add a bit more translucent clay to the base of the trunk. And from there I just pinch and stretch the cane until I get it reduced to the size I want.

The finished cane! I hope you'll give it a try!



  1. Very interesting! It almost looks like I could do it. I would like to see what the finished bead looks like.

  2. That's very cool Rebekah, thanks so much for sharing!!

  3. Thanx for sharing. I like you tree cane. I too have some glorious pics of winter sunsets at my house.

  4. That is so amazing! I wish I did polymer clay so I could try it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I decided I'm learning polymer clay for the new year -- love your tutorial! I can't wait to give these very cool beads a try!

  6. I love the sunset photo at the beginning of the post - and I am really floored by your talent. You make this look easy - but I suspect it's a little harder than that. :-)

  7. wow! i've never been interested in trying caning before, but i <3 trees, and this one is *fabulous.* definately going to give it a try!!!

  8. That's so cool Rebekah - not sure it would be simple in my hands but it's a lovey effect.

  9. What an awesome tutorial! I find this work so fascinating, and yes, you do make it look so easy! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Posted In Polymer Clay Collect group

  11. Rebekah - so cool how you do that! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Rebekah that is soooooo freakin awesome!!! I have the clay but I am so nervous about doing something like this! You made it look doable!!!!!

  13. love it....and i agree, there's nothing like that late afternoon winter sun setting behind the black leafless trees!

  14. One of the best tutorials I've seen - and I've seen a lot!! LOL
    Thanks for sharing this unique cane and the beautiful pic of your winter sunset.


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