So my request earlier this week to have people send in caning links for this week’s theme resulted in more questions from people just getting into it. Since there were so many queries, I thought I ought to take a moment to address the basic question these emails had in common … how does one get started or work on moving on from the basics? (For those of you who are quite advanced, this list and links might be helpful as a list for your website [I imagine you get these questions too!] or to recommend before a caning class to get your students to work on the basics.)

So here’s what I would recommend if you are starting out caning …

1. Take a class. So much of what goes into caning, especially reducing, is rather difficult to explain without hands on demonstrations. Check with local guilds, bead stores, the IPCA website, and The Polymer Arts resource list to see what is going on near you. A keyword search using your state/country, “polymer” and “classes” or “workshops” might bring up a few things as well.

2. Get a book. A book with a lot of detail and variety of projects to try your hand at could get you far. Some of the better ones I know of are Sue Heaser’s Polymer Clay Jewellery for Beginners: Book 1 – Millefiori Canes
Donna Kato’s The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques and Patricia Kimle’s Exploring Canework in Polymer Clay: Color, Pattern, Surface Design.

3. Search the internet for caning tutorials. This will give you a broad variety of techniques and approaches to explore. If you’re a self-starter and really motivated, this is usually the least expensive option as many of the beginning cane tutorials are free. Once you get more advanced, you may want to invest in some of the tutorials sold on Etsy and CraftArtEdu.

One of your fellow readers, Meg Newberg, sent along this link of free cane tutorials which she also regularly posts on her very active Facebook page, Polymer Clay Workshop. Here is a post photo from her Facebook page a few months back that I thought was just a beautiful collection of kaleidoscope canes with nicely chosen color schemes that she was working on.


As I am admittedly not the caning expert and so many of you are,  please do add your thoughts in the comment section if you have further ideas for those new to caning. Many thanks!


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