This month in the Beginner's Corner, we will take a look at one of the foundation canes—the Jelly Roll cane!
The Jelly Roll cane is one of the foundation canes in polymer clay and many times are used as additions to other, more complex canes. Mastering this cane is easy and the classic jelly roll look can come in many variations.
To create the Jelly Roll cane, you will need the following items:
- 2 contrasting colors of clay (2 colors at a minimum)
- Tissue blade(s)
- Clay machine
1. Condition both colors of clay ending with two conditioned sheets rolled out on the #3 setting (the clay machine setting will determine the thickness of your rolls).
2. Cut both sheets of clay into the same size and shape—we recommend longer sheets of
clay rather than wider.
3. Stack one color on top of the other—the top color will be the "inside" color once you being rolling.
4. Once stacked, carefully roll through the clay machine (on the setting that's one step thicker than what your sheets were rolled on—in this case, #2).
5. Place your combined clay sheet on your work surface. Taking your index fingers, gently begin rolling at one end. This will be the center of your cane.
6. Slowly continue rolling the clay stopping with about 1/2" of clay that is not rolled at the opposite end.
Note: as you roll, the sides of your cane may bulge slightly—using your fingers, gently push those bulges back in toward the middle of the cane.
7. Before you finish rolling your cane, take your tissue blade and cut the clay at an angle on the very edge. You want to angle your blade so that the bottom color of clay will be slightly longer than the top color. This will encapsulate the jelly roll completely in the bottom color.
8. Using your fingers, smooth the ending seam. You can also accomplish this smoothing by rolling the cane back and forth over the seam.
9. For the cleanest cuts without creating color bleeds while cutting, let your cane rest (and cool from the heat of your hands) for about 5 minutes.
10. After allowing your cane to rest and cool, use your tissue blade to cut slices of your cane to the thickness you desire.
Note: Jelly Roll canes can incorporate more than 2 colors as well as skinner blends and other clay techniques. Experiment by adding other elements around the edges of your cane to build more complex and impressive canes.