The stages of making my purple flowery cabochon | Cara Jane Polymer Clay The stages of making my purple flowery cabochon | Cara Jane Polymer Clay

The stages of making my purple flowery cabochon

Posted on June 5, 2011

I have been asked a couple of questions about my purple flowery cabochon pendant so here’s a little more information  about how I made it. Looking at the colour differences due to the lighting in my pictures I really should go back to using my  photography set up but I took these pictures as a record for me rather than for sharing with you.

First I made 2 canes (typically I made them with little bits left over from another project so they were tiny and of course beautiful! If I had made them larger they wouldn’t have been so nice, it’s the cane law!).

The purple flower canes

I then hand formed a cabochon shape from scrap clay, starting with a ball shape which I cut in half and smoothed it down onto my work surface. I don’t get the shape perfect at this stage as it will be squashed about when I add the decoration.

I covered the scrap clay cabochon shape with thin slices of the cane pressing them in firmly once I am happy with their arrangement and not worrying too much about the distortion of the shape of the pendant. I use a knitting needle (a short double ended metal one, it’s my favourite smoothing tool) to smooth the cane slices so the joins were no longer visible. The cabochon then needs a little reforming (OK quite a lot sometimes!) and then gentle smoothing to remove finger marks. It is then baked, for more information about getting the ideal curing conditions  see my latest curing experiments

Cabochon after first baking, unsanded (yes this is a different one from pictures below)

When making this pendant I couldn’t decide whether to give it a border ‘frame’ or not. So I took a picture without then added one and took a picture with the border so I could compare side by side. I decided the ‘frame’ added to the look of the pendant so was worth the extra time.

These pendants have been sanded but not buffed. I make the basic shape, bake and sand it then I add the backing, bail and a border. It’s then baked and  repolished with the last few grades of sand paper only and buffed with my homemade dremel buffing wheel. I have tested it out and found you don’t get a better shine particularly by sanding and rebaking but it does mean it is easier to sand right to the edge if there isn’t a border in the way. It is better to add the backing, bail and border to a baked cabochon as you don’t distort it whilst doing so.

Here’s the finished piece!

Hopefully that answered the questions, if you have any more feel free to ask either by comment here or email me (see the contact me link above or to the left). Also if you are having trouble leaving comments can you let me know – by email I guess.  Thanks



  1. Very, very pretty.

  2. That’s very nice, Cara! I love the color, too! 😀

  3. This is just gorgeous Cara!
    Have a great week.

  4. Very beautiful colors and design, love the shiny polished end result! Your canes are great. Not smeary, but sharp detail. Your a master!

  5. Thank you for the excellent information !! Cara you Rock I’m so tickled to have found such a super site

  6. Thank you all for your lovely comments, makes it all worth while. Cara x

  7. “The Cane Law” ROTFLOL SO True!!!!

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