Author: Elaine

Making Baseball Canes and Slice Beads

Let me preface this with: I am no sort of sports person. I initially made baseball beads because a customer wanted some. This tends to be the reason I make a lot of the stuff that wanders off from rose canes or little flower beads. This tutorial is a high level walk through of making the cane. It assumes you can do a Skinner blend and are comfortable reducing or working with odd shapes. The beads are what I call slice beads. Each bead is a slice off the reduced cane. I drill holes after baking, typically, but you can punch them before you bake. You can bake the cane and slice the beads while still warm as well.

To make the shade on your baseball, mix a very light grey. Skinner blend the light grey to white and then turn it into a plug. If you don’t care about the shading, skip right along to adding the red “cord”.

Shape your plug into a half circle with the darker part on one end of the half circle. Cut the half circle into 3 parts. The middle section will be where we add the stitching. Slice the section in half and line the inside with red rolled out to midway on the pasta machine (in my case, yours may vary).

This gets you the sandwich with the red in the middle. Cut that in 7 parts, without mixing it up (we want the shading to stay in it’s place). Line each of the sections with a little of the red and then reassemble. Roll the cane to smooth it back out to fit back into your half circle block.

Reassemble your half circle chunk. Reduce it until at least 3 or 4 inches in length. Cut that in half and assemble it into a full circle. Voila! Shaded baseball cane. Reduce and use for all your baseball needs. In my case, beads for a good customer!

Catching Up

Polymer clay dragons
Polymer clay dragons

I try not to worry when I’m not as regular as I ought to be with my blog so I’ll jump right back in here with the follow up to the summer post below this. The dragons in the picture got finished up – months later, oops – and I’m doing the last minute preparations for the last and largest of my fall shows.

In the months between now and my last post we’ve done a lot and a little. My family decided we were ready for a kitten (or two!). My daughter began her first year of university. We kept on with the rounds of shop improvements to our building.

I’ve been pretty good about taking pictures of my work and cats and posting to Instagram so I popped a widget for that on the side over there to take a peek at.

Dog Days of Summer

Making Christmas ornaments in my studio. Seems crazy with the sun and summer heat.

I’m a lucky crafty type with a great big studio tucked into the back of my very own shop full of handmade goodies. It’s a good building, old and industrial, in big bricks and concrete with old cedar beams for the ceiling. In it’s previous lives, it was a car shop and then a lawn and garden outlet. There’s a garage bay next door where my partner does electrical and automotive related things. And in the summer it gets awfully danged warm in here.

Since it’s not usually that warm here for any amount of time – Canadian stereotypes and all – this doesn’t bother me much and we’ll add air conditioning to this side of the building at some point. It just means the clay is softer and the room is a little warm and dozy by the afternoon. It seems odd to be building Christmas ornaments with the sun blazing in and fans going everywhere. Definitely the dog days of summer.

Of course, in the winter, the place is cold and cranky but we replaced the furnace last year with a much better one and it’s pretty easy to toss a sweater on.