strawberry cane failures and success
Originally uploaded by Snowfern
i love strawberries. i love how they look, they taste. ok maybe i like the artificial flavour better than the real ones (real strawberries tend to be sour X( ) but i love them even more in mini.
let me run through how i failed, so that i can remember NOT to repeat my mistakes.
all strawberry canes were made following Marjo Caris' tutorial.
you can find it under "Miscellaneous -> Workshops->Workshop 01", click the strawberry pics. i would have provided a direct link but i think it's rude not to explore her wonderful site :)
i modified it heavily for my most recent attempt though. explanations will follow. for those who care ;) also, since i tend to mix brands/colours, i paid zero heed to the tutorial's colour mixes, so results will definitely vary if you follow my method. wish i had pics, but the whole process is so tedious i didn't want to stain my camera red either.
in chronological order:
1) upper left - sliced after baking
my first attempts. iirc i mixed some daiso polymer clay with fimo translucent, and fimo white for the white bits. there were actually 2 attempts for that but those failed miserably cos i used translucent white and that didn't show up at ALL. i think i have already chucked out that batch. they were found to be extremely extremely brittle. you can also see the sizes are inconsistent and shapes 'wonky'.
2) lower left - sliced after baking
2nd attempt. this time too much white. that's ok, but the white wasn't translucent enough. also, very brittle, as i tried to finish up the Daiso clay, thinking that if i baked for longer it would be stronger. no such thing.
3) upper right - sliced after baking
sculpey red used this time. found it too soft to work comfortably with, and there was lots of wastage clay at the ends of the canes. whites again too white, and the skinner blend results weren't visible at all since i'd neglected to mix in white with the translucent -_-" an oversight, i must have been too anxious to get the 3rd attempt over and done with LOL
and FINALLY, the ones i'm satisfied with.
i decided to work with KATO clay after all these failed attempts. KATO has been heavily recommended by caners as it's firm when unbaked, and stronger when baked. word of warning though, multiple bakings tend to darken KATO, unlike FIMO from my experience. i'd long since given up on sculpey, so can't say anything about it.
instead of using primary red, this time i blended KATO red with oil colours, i think it's the darker, magenta-ish red since strawberries in my mind have a darker hue than the bright primary red. did a skinner blend into red, and further into pink. i have totally forgotten the ratios grr but i guess you could eyeball it yourself. made sure the light pink/white layer was much thinner this time.
to achieve the inner rim of white, i mixed a teeeeeeny bit of pink into a LOT of translucent white. the translucent white was made with a tiny dab of white oil paint into translucent KATO. it was the mix i used for my dango (recycling LOL) remember not to mix brands of clay if you wish for your cane's details to remain consistent throughout.
the whites between the red bits (the white stripes in the red border) were slightly flattened as i layered them between the reds. it thins out so that it looks more realistic. at least, IMO.
the heart of the strawberry was achieved with a skinner roll. i kinda messed up on the top bits, but i think it's ok. i originally wanted the top part to be paler, but i think out of habit or sheer space-cadet-moment, i forgot to add it and happily smooshed and stretched away at the cane. le sigh.
oh yes. and the strawberries in this pic were sliced BEFORE baking. actually, with all my strawberries, they looked pretty 'ok' when glossed as it takes away alot of the scratches. but even with KATO, i found it hard to slice thinly and evenly without breaking the cane, even while it was warm. feck it, i'll pre-slice my canes prior to baking from now on, saves me from all that agony. KATO is firm enough to hold its shape and doesn't smear anyway.
ok. so summary of my modifications, and my lessons learnt:
- slicing baked canes is easier when canes are warmed, but chances of breakage still high
- KATO is far superior for caning than any other brands i've tried, doesn't smear when sliced raw either
- translucent translucent translucent. lots of it
- never use 'pure' white for foods, it looks so fake
- even when slicing raw clay, try to warm up the clay a little in hands before slicing as cold clay can get brittle too if it wasn't properly conditioned
- KATO is a b*tch to condition, even with a pasta machine.
ok. i'm losing my attention span quick, it's time for breakfast. feel free to summarize or add further tips.....and remember....it's
<-----thataway for the link to glassattic polymer clay encyclopedia if you wanna know more about how to mix paints into clay, caning, skinner, techniques etc. too much stuff to elaborate here.
strawberry canes are definitely not for beginners!