August 2002
Volume 3, Issue 8
Face Cane Components
Eye Cane
By Irish Red
Adobe Acrobat version

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Face canes are fun and addicting to make. In this tutorial, I will go through the steps of making the whole face cane, one step at a time.

Experienced caners sometimes forget how lost we were when we started out, trying to remember what each technique was, so I hope I can make this easier for clayers who have never made a face cane or those who have been frustrated. To make the process easier, I am going to make one component of the face cane per month.

This month's component is the eye cane.

Supplies:
  • Clay colors for the eye: iris color, white, black, flesh tone
  • Blade
  • Pasta machine or roller
Draw a cartoon of the face.

This is just so you can get the proportions of the components right and not waste a lot of clay. You don't have to be an artist. As you can see by mine, I have no talent for drawing.

I usually make a small drawing, scan it and print it out larger.

Step One:

Figure out how big the pupil needs to be, using your cartoon as a guide. Remember that you will be making one eye cane and cutting it in half. Decide how thick you want the cane and plan the log to be twice that length.

On the other hand, when I make the components of a face cane, I sometimes make more than I need -- such as with this eye cane -- so I have more for use later.

You decide how much you need -- either enough for one face cane or a lot for many face canes.

Step Two:

Make a very small log of white and one of black and lay side by side. Roll out black clay and wrap around these canes to make the pupil.

Check against your drawing to see if the log is wide enough.

Step Three:

Roll out your eye color on the #1 setting on your pasta machine. Wrap this around the pupil, checking against your cartoon to be sure it's the right size.

I've made eyes in blue, brown and green. Just for fun, we'll call this violet. If you like, use a Skinner Blend for the irises.

Image A shows the coiling of the clay
Image B shows how the iris looks after being cut.

Step Four:

Make a triangle of white clay that is equal to the width of the iris and twice as long. Cut in half and lay on either side of the iris.

Gently mold to sides as shown on right side. Smooth edges.

Note: some people make a wrap all the way around the irises, but I don't because I think it makes the eyes look unnatural.

Step Five:

Wrap with a thin layer of black clay. I used #5 on my Pasta Queen. You can use a thicker wrap if you want the eyes to pop, but too thick and it looks like eyeliner.

Step Six:

Roll out flesh color and place two layers on top of eye cane. Trim. Roll a small log of brown and place at one corner of eye. Lay a sheet of brown clay over and smooth.

Set cane aside to rest, if possible, before reducing to correct size.

Next Month: Lip Cane

Here are some of the face canes I've made. Note that they are not all human.

First Face Cane
First People Cane
Second People Cane
Second Cat Cane
© 2002 Irish Red
Editor's Letter | Letters to the Editor | Questions and Answers | Book Reviews | Le Pâte Polymère | Clayers With Disabilities | Geometric Canes | Face Canes: Eye Canes | Email Us! | Home

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