First attempt at a butterfly cane | Cara Jane Polymer Clay First attempt at a butterfly cane | Cara Jane Polymer Clay

First attempt at a butterfly cane

Posted on June 13, 2010

I used to think that a butterfly cane was too fiddly and likely to distort on reduction but now I have improved my cane building and reducing skill somewhat I decided it was time to tackle it. I had a good browse through flickr at butterfly canes for guidance

Cane ready for packing

Ready for reduction

Finished butterfly canes

I am pretty chuffed with how it turned out. The colour on the wings is actually a three way skinner blend from white through a custom blue/turquoise mix to violet (Kato clay). I started off thinking I would make one wing then use it in 4 parts to construct the butterfly. I realised after I had shaped the blue bits I shouldn’t have done that so cut it in half and made 2 slightly different wings by changing their shape slightly and then adding different amounts of white dots on the edges.

I had pushed the top and bottom wings together to see how they looked but then decided I didn’t like the shape of the bottom wing.  I went to pull them apart but they were well stuck and I would damage them taking them apart so I was stuck with them like that. I looks OK but I will do it a bit differently next time.

I tried to pack it carefully and reduced it straight away. I reduced it to 3 different sizes the largest being 2.5cm (1″) and the smallest being 7mm.


  1. Great butterfly cane, especially for a first attempt. I’m curious about how you will like it when you bake it. I have found the Kato translucent to be very yellow upon baking and not very translucent at all. I haven’t bought any recently so maybe newer stuff is better.


  2. Thank you Cynthia. I have used a fair bit of kato translucent and I don’t find it yellow but I agree it isn’t the most ‘translucent’. I am still on stocks of old forumla Kato will have to buy some new formula soon – I have heard mixed reviews of it some say it is lovely to work with and others say it is too soft. What brand of clay do you use?

  3. LOVE the butterfly cane! I’ve tried several times to make a successful butterfly and have had lackluster results! Perhaps it’s time to try again (grin). I use Premo for all my canes since the smell of Kato tends to give me headaches and close my sinuses. I will share one tip I learned from Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg. She showed us how she reduces the cane to the size she wants to use, then carefully trims out some of the translucent. I don’t attempt to get it all but I do cut out as much as I can. The main thing is to break up that “round” halo.

  4. lol Arlene I was just on your blog having read your post about packing or not.

  5. This is beautiful! I just started “playing around” with polymer clay a few weeks ago and haven’t attempted any type of canes yet. I’ve been watching your blog and see how well you’ve been doing with them (the Mokume Gane is really great!) so you’ve given me inspiration.. I’m off on vacation next week, but maybe when I get back I’ll get up the nerve… 🙂

  6. WOW! for a first attempt, that is pretty amazing! xx

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