Many of the canes I make use translucent clay as a background. Adding a background makes canes easier to reduce, protecting the central design. Clayers use translucent clay because, sliced thinly, it’s not highly visible in layered cane designs. It bakes up as a mostly clear area where you can see the designs underneath. Of course, it works best if sliced thin, sanded, and buffed. It’s also notoriously the first colour to brown and it shows most on light colours. If you can make the cane without the background? Absolutely go for it. I do that for a lot of my “bead canes”.
The clearest translucent in the clay line I use is Premo White Translucent but it’s not the friendliest. As a result, I tend to mix it with Sculpey 3 (also very clear but the texture of peanut butter in warm weather) and Premo’s regular translucent in sort of random proportions. That means I mix it ahead and store it like the box above. It’s always nice to have it ready when I’m ready to make a good cane!
The lilac above and the butterfly below are both examples of designs where a background colour – translucent in this case – is used to support larger, complex images. I can see both of these as part of layered cane designs, perfect for spring.