Slice “em Thin

I am often asked how do you make your cane slices so thin? Cutting thicker even slices is often harder (see slices in photo). There are four factors to keep in mind when attempting to cut ultra-thin slices from polymer clay canes and one guiding principle. citruscanes.jpg

  • REST allowing your canes to rest overnight or for a couple of days after reduction will make them easier to handle
  • SURFACE have something underneath the cane that you are willing to cut into, perhaps a piece of paper, if you are struggling not to mar your cutting mat there is a tendency to pull up before the cut is completed
  • HANDLE if your cane is short or irregularly shaped, make a handle out of scrap clay and hold onto to that rather than heating up or distorting your cane
  • ANGLE make sure you are cutting at a comfortable angle- I like to hold both the blade and the clay at a 45 degree angle on my work-surface- this way I can see the cut with both eyes and can keep my wrist straight and relaxed

The guiding principle = PRACTICE

Thoroughly condition four ounces of clay and fashion it into four logs of clay

  • one round log
  • one oval log
  • one square log
  • and one thin round snake

Using a very sharp tissue blade, imagine that you are breaking the surface tension on a very ripe tomato on a forward stroke of your blade,glide the blade back and continue cutting through your log…repeat and practice cutting until you have cut all four of your logs.

Did your slices become more even? Were you able to adjust the thickness after a few slices? Which log was easiest to slice?

Learning how to cut very even slices takes practice. Practicing slicing on a face cane that took you all day to construct doesn’t make sense…not only can it be wasteful, many artists "choke" up and rather than making smooth sweeping cuts because they are concentrating on maximizing the useful slices they can get from the cane.


4 Responses to “Slice “em Thin”

  1. 1 ulrike October 18, 2007 at 7:38 am

    your 45 degree angle seems to be a very good idea. What an easy variation, but one have to invent it. I will give it a try. Never thougt outside of 90 or 180 degrees.

  2. 2 polkadotcreations October 18, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Practicing on a “plain” cane is a great idea!

  3. 3 Karen October 18, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    I agree with Lisa – what a fabulous idea!
    Thanks for your wonderful posts. I really enjoy reading them. -Karen

  4. 4 Kim Cavender October 23, 2007 at 2:55 am

    Lindly, you are such a wise woman!

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Thanks for visiting my blog where you'll find my latest news, class details, and new tips and tricks. You'll find more information about my work at my website. Come back often.


October 2007
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