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Polymer Clay Polyzine

Copyright 2000-2004
Raleigh, NC
ISSN 1534-1038
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Ideas for Using Butterfly Wing Canes

By Alan Vernall
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Wing canesWing canes of the type described in my previous article (see pcPolyzine November 2003) may be used in a great variety of ways. I’ve been asked to give details of the jewellery and ornaments that I’ve made with them.


Making butterfly wingsBrooches: Brooches are usually made in the form of a complete butterfly, i.e., a body with antennae is placed between two cane slices to create the whole animal.

Begin by taking a length of coloured wire and twist it around a small rod former to create a ‘Y’ shape (see photo) Next, take a small piece of a dark clay (gold, brown or black) and wrap it around the lower part of the ‘Y’ of wire, so that the upper arms protrude from the clay, as antennae. Then the wing slices are pressed into either side of the body. The whole assembly is then placed on a flat or slightly curved surface depending on the required angle of the wings. At this stage, features of the body can be pressed into the clay.

Butterfly Wing Cane BroochThe body could also be formed about an armature of wire that has been sharpened and passed through the loop at the base of the ‘Y’. The sharpened point of the wire will become a stickpin in the finished brooch. If 1mm brass wire is used for the armature, then standard 1mm stickpin caps can be used to retain the pin and protect the wearer of the brooch. The caps are obtainable from  jewellery findings suppliers at reasonable cost.

If no armature was used, then after baking, a standard brooch pin can be attached to the back of the butterfly using epoxy glue or TLS.

Double Eyepin PendantsPendants and Necklaces: The same general technique as above is used if the butterfly is to be made into a pendant. Instead of a wire mount or a brooch back, some other means of attaching to a chain is used. One can either, drill small holes near each of the forewing tips and attach jump-rings, or, Butterfly Pendantinstead of the antennae-wire, the body could be formed around an eye-pin with the eye protruding from the top. The pendant can then be hung using the eye of the pin. Another, possibly better method of making a butterfly pendant is to twist two eye-pins together at their straight ends, so that when they protrude, they resemble antennae.