Today I want to share with you how made my first signature cane. When I looked for good tutorials I couldn’t find any with detailed descriptions or lots of images, so I decided to photograph each step of the way for you. For this cane I used the Makin’s Clay Extruder Gun and a variety of discs. You might be able to use alphabet cookie cutters instead, but these tend to be much bigger- which means you spend a long time reducing the cane (reducing means making the cane longer and thinner/smaller) plus you can’t be as flexible with the way you want the signature to look.
First of all I had to think about which letters of my name I wanted to use. Originally I want to sign with HK W – the K would be using the second leg of the H and stands for the ka bit (a remnant of my maiden name) and W for my married name. I usually use this type of signature when I just carve it into the raw clay, which it easy enough to do. But sometimes simple is best and I decided to just use the HK. So when you want to do it with your own initials – think about how many you really need to use. The more you use – the more complicated and tricky it gets to create the cane and reduce it.
Next I chose my colours – because black and white goes with most colours (and the signature is attached to the back of my designs) I chose white for the letters and black for the clay that surrounds them.
Then I had to choose the discs – my extruder comes with a variety of discs with different shapes. I mainly needed round ones for the fillings in between the letters and thin I shaped ones for my H.
You can see the discs I chose in my images.
Then I extruded all my parts for the cane. When you do this make sure you don’t lose the rubber ring from the extruder. It gets stuck to the clay, so always check your clay. It happened a couple of times that I suddenly could not find it!
Once I extruded all parts I needed – I started building my H using the H legs and the middle bit between the longer legs and filling them with black snakes – see images below.
Then I did the same with the K part – I only added the shorter legs as this is how I wanted the signature to look like. The tricky bit was to fill the bits between and the photos should give you an idea how I did this.
Once I had both letters, I made sure I squeezed the cane all around to get rid of any gaps.
Then I wrapped the whole cane in another layer of black clay (I used the second or third setting on the pasta machine, so to make this layer not too thick)
After wrapping I squeezed it all into shape, reduced it a bit and cut it in half. This way I can use to canes in different sizes. So I will reduce one of them even further until I think it’s small enough for my designs.
And there you have it – my first signature cane.
I hope you enjoyed this making of tutorial.