What's Caneworking?

The way we make our jewelry is called caneworking. It's a way of building pictures and designs that uses precisely layered pieces of pigmented polymer clay. Different shapes and colors of clay are fitted together in a slab so that when a piece is sliced from the end, the picture is revealed.

leopard cane large
Large, complex leopard cane made up of many colors, ready to be reduced and recombined.
raw tan fimo clay
Sliced Fimo polymer clay. The clay comes already pigmented, but it is mixable much like paint. In the following cane, I have used three different colors or clay: tan, brown and dark brown.
cane stacking
After the cane is reduced, it is cut up into smaller sections and recombined to repeat the design.
hand reducing the cane
Reducing, or stretching the cane. This cements the colors together and solidifies the design. When the cane is reduced, it is stretched out, but the colors inside stretch with it.
leopard beads
Slices are applied to the outside of a raw polymer clay ball to cover its surface. Then the ball is smoothed into a bead. These beads become a part of Em's Gems whimsical jewelry.
slicing the cane
Once the cane is reduced to the correct size for the project, it is sliced to reveal the design. These slices become pins, earrings or beads.