January 2019 Clay Day Homework

Please bring with you approximately 120-180g clay (preferably Premo but Fimo can be used) made up as one or two of the following:

  • Skinner blend bullseye cane, approx. 6-8cm long (unreduced)

  • Skinner blend stack, also 6-8cm long (unreduced)

  • Simple layered flat stack, see below for details

Your cane/stack will be combined with those of other clay day attendees to make one large master cane which will then be sliced for each person to create either a mandala or tile.

If you can bring more than one item, please do. When distributing the slices of master cane, we will aim to provide you with a quantity of slices that are in proportion to what you contributed.

Air pockets

When making up your components please don’t worry about air pockets. Avoid them if you can, but they are not a problem for the techniques we will be using.

No Trimming

There is no need to trim the ends of your stacks or canes to make them tidy.

Skinner blends

Please make up skinner blends that have a good tonal (light/dark) range. Use whatever colours you like but one end must be considerably lighter than the other end.

Bullseye canes

When making up your bullseye cane, it is preferable to have it lighter in the centre and darker on the outside. If you wish to have the lighter colour on the outside, then go ahead.  Do not reduce the cane.

If you wish, you can create additional contrast by adding a very thin layer around the cane that is a darker tone of your outside colour (or lighter if that is what is on the outside of your cane).


Skinner stacks

When making up a stack please ensure that there is a strong tonal (light/dark) contrast between the top and bottom of the stack.

skinner blend.png
flat stack sheets.png

Simple flat stacks

To create a flat stack, simply layer five-six thin sheets of clay (approx. 13cm x 18cm) one on top the other to create a stack that is 1-2cm high.  Please choose different tones of the same hue (colour) and stack them in order of tonal value (light to dark). Alternatively, you can stack them to have a light or dark middle as shown in the example on right. If you want to use more than one hue, please ensure that you have good tonal contrast.


Please contact Bridget on bridget.derc@yahoo.com if you have any questions regarding your preparation for the day.

Useful links

Carol Simmons explains how she obtains an even gradient skinner blend:



How to make a skinner blend cane in the first 5 minutes and then stack in second half of video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NftD4lRE7sY

Some inspiration for building components from these canes and stacks has been collated here:  https://www.pinterest.co.uk/bridgetderc/polymer-cane-designs/

Bridget’s recent work on creating two outdoor coffee tables covered with polymer clay tiles can be viewed here  https://www.flickr.com/photos/bridget_dercs_photos/albums/72157703713311864

contrast in flat sheet.png