Mapping Canes: a Puppy

puppy dog polymer clay caneLast year I wrote about using a photograph to inspire a cane and how to map the cane out from the photograph. This time, I’m using a swatch of fabric a friend showed me on webcam to make a cane. She’d like something to use in favours for her daughters upcoming baby shower but she isn’t a caner. She made the cutest little sculpts and I offered to whip up a cane to make magnets, charms or pins with.

The fabric swatch was kind of pixelated but I traced it out – literally, a paper taped to my monitor over a screenshot taken from her webcam – for my first sketch. I made sure I had the screenshot showing to the physical size I wanted to make the cane to: about 3″ wide.

puppy dog polymer clay caneLooking at the screen cap I could see that there were only a few colours needed: the off white of the body and head, the black of the nose, eyes and outline, the brown of the spots and ears and the blue of the background.

To make life easier, I figured out how much clay it would be to make this cane and it turns out it’s about a pound to make a 3″ wide by 2.5-3″ tall cane! I mixed up my colours.

First I made a spot cane – a simple bullseye with the cream colour surrounded by a thick outline of the brown. Then I made the dog’s head beginning with it’s nose, working up to the eyes, then the ears.

Once I have the head done, I began to work left from the ear to make the body, row by row of it. Legs and tail were last, followed by a thin outline on the whole puppy. After it was more or less the way I wanted, I started the process of adding background: I put plugs of clay in the holes first – the space between the legs, the face and legs, the ears and so on. Then I began to add sheets around the cane. I reduced fairly soon after I finished up so that the cane wouldn’t chill in the center.

puppy dog polymer clay caneI’m pretty happy with the cane overall. I missed a few spots and the whiskers (sorry Bernie! you’ll have to doodle those on!) but he’s still a sweet looking puppy!


  1. Elaine says:

    Thanks Cindy!

    My regular canes are smaller – sometimes much smaller. I wanted this one to be big enough so that it wouldn’t run out mid way. Now I just need to see what my friend does with it all!

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