Posted by: doras_explorations | July 3, 2008

Building a Cane from Start to Finish

One of the main reasons I started a blog was to chronicle through words and photos ‘how I make stuff’.  Besides experimenting with form, pattern and color, I am strongly drawn to teaching and to demonstrating polymer clay techniques, specifically caning.  I’ve thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to publish a how-to article in a magazine?”, “I would love to hold classes to teach canework.”, “Imagine actually making money from my art !”, and on and on.  What stopped me, of course, was ME !  Every time I thought I came up with a new technique or idea, someone else had already beat me to it.  I didn’t have a decent camera to photograph my work, and besides, my photography sucked.  I didn’t have the cash to start any kind of ‘business’, and didn’t have the stomach for financial risk-taking.  I could devote an entire post (no, an entire BLOG !) to all my insecurities and fears, but it wouldn’t make for very interesting reading.

      Well, now I have a decent camera, I know how to post pictures of my work on-line, and I’ve even figured out how to start a blog.  No more excuses!   Yesterday I decided to make a cane, and take photos of the process.  I cleared off a space on my dining room table to use as my film studio.  Here’s the result, enjoy !  The photos are a bit small, double click to enlarge. 





  1. These are stunning, photographing step by step is harder than producing the canes are they are mega difficult anyway so a big congratulations. Thanks for sharing. Kylee

  2. Thanks, Kylee ! You’re right about the photography, what a job that was ! Yesterday I spend most of the day editing the photos and tweaking them with Photoshop. I hope it will get easier with time, and that my photography skills will improve. It would be so nice to have someone do the photography for me !

  3. Hi Dora,
    I am really enjoying your blog. Thank you. Your work is wonderful, keep sharing and inspiring.

  4. Thanks, Joni, for the compliments ! The best part about blogging is that one gets to meet artists from all over the world. Glad you stopped by !

  5. I always find the easiest way to deal with the mess is to do it later! 😉 Love the photos of your process… It is always wonderful to see how other caners work!

  6. Thanks, Cindy ! Your blog is a fantastic source of information, I’ll be visiting there often !

  7. Dora, you did a fantastic demo and your photography was very good. You are really learning a lot about doing a blog. Congratulations!

  8. Le ha quedado muy bonita. Me gustaría que siguiera haciendo todas estas fotos de sus trabajos, pues aprendo mucho con usted. ¿Podría hacer paso a paso una caña céltica knot? Me ayudaría muchísimo. Gracias

  9. Thank you for your interest, Pilar. The Celtic Knot I learned at the workshop has too many pages of instructions to show. However, I found this Celtic Knot tutorial on the Internet: The instructions are in English (and the measurements in inches, not cm), but there are many photos. Good luck !

  10. I sure appreciate you taking the time to let a newbie in on some of your techniques! Love the cane.

  11. Thanks, jojobean ! A lot of newbies are very intimidated by caning, but it really isn’t as difficult as it looks. Even if a cane does not end up being perfectly symmetrical, so what? It’s still beautiful. I hope you’ll check in again, as I plan to show more step by step cane constructions.

  12. dora- I came across this toot while googling “reducing a hexagon cane” today; so glad I found you, and will be spending some time on your site! This is a lovely cane, btw.

  13. muy buena tu pajina me encanto gracias…..

    • Gracias, Victoria !

  14. Wow, that is really cool. Thanks for the demo!

    • Thanks, Julie, i’m glad you liked it ! I hope to get back to doing tutorials very soon, I’ve been busy with other projects this month. Happy Holidays !

  15. le quedo lindo todo asi aprendo de usted,que lindo trabaja soy principiante en esto me encanta,haga mas de los paso a paso me encanto esto muchisimo gracias ”dora”que linda es usted

  16. señora dora, no se si se puede canes de mariposa, por,favor gracias…….

  17. […] Follow this link over to Dora’s Explorations for a great tutorial on putting together Kaleidoscope Canes. […]

    • thanks for linking to my tutorial !

  18. tus trabajos son bellos me encantan esos canes….bellisimos victoria de usa..

  19. I just found your site and love it. too bad you don’t post anymore a huge loss.


    • Merrie, I’m so glad you enjoyed the site. It has indeed been a long time since I added a tutorial…Just haven’t had the time or energy required to put one together. Thanks for reminding me that people do stop and visit ! Certainly I appreciate it, and hopefully it will motivate me to carve out a block of time to do one of the things I enjoy most-working with clay and demonstrating techniques !

  20. Hi Dora,
    I just wanted to say thank you for being so kind to post info for all to learn and enjoy.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Kelly !

  21. hi Dora
    thanks so very much for this beautiful tutorial!! the photography is wonderful and so are your color choices!
    i agree, with Merrie, too bad there are no more lovely tutes from you any more. but i do understand, and will stop by every so often to see if there’s anything new.
    thanks a lot

    • Thanks, Suzanne, for the kind words. The last few years have brought various difficulties that have interefered with my producing tutorials, and doing other art-related things. I hope to get back to doing tutorials again, and maybe even realize my dream of teaching polymer clay classes, in the not too distant future. Meanwhile, it is nice that people still visit my blog, it serves to remind me what I’m capable of doing !

  22. […] […]

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