I don't know who first tried to reproduce those beautiful glass beads using polymer clay, but they were a genius. The process is long and involved, using rods of conditioned polymer clay in a myriad of shapes, round, square, triangular, and so on. These rods are then wrapped with thin sheets of polymer clay and stacked together to form one unit.
Once the image is completed, the entire piece is rolled, squeezed and manipulated until it is the desired size. The messy ends are cut off to reveal a miniature masterpiece inside! Then, thin slices are cut and applied to the base piece of polymer clay.
I've tried my hand at making some polymer clay canes. I have never been too successful. Most of the time my slices get distorted, smeared or are of varying thickness and are useless for the project I envisioned. I keep trying, though, because I am fascinated by the process.
Some of the polymer clay artists from the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild on Art Fire have mastered this difficult technique. Below are some pieces from those talented artists.
This Flat Modcane Pendant by Dream Weaver's Designs is a wonderful example of the intricate pattern you can achieve using a relatively simple cane.
This Set of Purple Flowers on Yellow Clay Beads by Blue Morning Expressions show the delicate beauty of these purple flowers using this intricate cane.
Black and White Wine Bottle Stopper by Amy Crawley is made with extruded clay. I'm not quite sure how that works, I'll have to research it, but it produces a bold and striking pattern.
Another piece using the extruding method is this lovely Red and White Extruded Rounds Necklace by Flower Child's Artsy Jewelry
The Black and White Zentangle Cuff Bracelet by Second Sister At Moark Jewelry fascinates me. I just recently discover the Zentangle method and I am itching to try it, both on paper and in clay.
After seeing all these wonderful items, I suggest that everyone run out, buy some clay and start smooshing!