Clay Math – Part II

Beads are one side of my obsession. So now that I know how many beads I can get, how about how much cane?

Assuming you make round canes in the starting range of 2″ diameter by 2″ long, before reduction, that’s a bit over 4oz or 2 packs of clay + a bit. cane reductionA square cane the same diameter and length is closer to 5 1/2 oz or 3 packs of clay.

Reduction makes waste. The more you reduce, the more waste you make. And that makes sense because that tiny little error on the big cane is going to get spread over a huge amount of distance as you reduce. So try to get your cane as neat before reducing as you can. The less distortion to start, the less there will be at the end.

A 2″ diameter cane reduced to 1/2″ diameter is 1/16th the size it was. That’s a big change. So if the reduction is perfect and there is no waste, our original 2″ by 2″ cane will be 16 times as long. Our original 2″ long cane will make around 32 inches of cane that is a 1/2″ diameter.


  1. Harriet Russell says:

    Thanks for these. As one with limited experience with polymer clay, it’s impossible to guess at how much I’ll need for a particular project. One thing I’ve learned, however, is that it’s generally a lot.

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