The Pixelated Retro Blend Cane

Bettina Welker 3. Juli 2012 121

Hier klicken für die Anleitung in Deutsch

While doing a project for my new book “Polymer Clay Bracelets” I was doing an extruded veneer for a bracelet. I had some leftovers with which I just played around a little bit – I stacked it, compressed it etc. Then, when I cut it open I suddenly had this beautiful blended rainbow cane in front of me. The original veneer was a spiral and so the cane I had now was not a rectangle – it was more shaped like a piece of cake. I definitely had to try and figure out what had happened inside this extrusion and translate the whole process  into a rectangular shaped cane. I called the cane “Pixelated Retro Blend Cane” – maybe you guys come up with a better name for it:)

So, here is how it’s done:

Mix at least 5 different shades of a color.
I used light green and blue with 3 mixes  of both in between.

Roll the sheets out on the thickest setting (#1) of your PM and
punch out 4 circles of each color with a cookie cutter that matches
the diameter of the extruder barrel.

Roll out black and white (#1) clay and punch out
6 circles of white and 5 circles of black

Arrange the circles like shown, compress it a little and
feed it (dark side first) into the barrel of your extruder.

Insert the small circle die (2.5mm) and extrude a long snake.

Then lay out the snake like shown in the picture, starting with the light color

Using this amount of clay my snake was around 5 meters long.
With the diameter of the snake being 2.5 mm I now can calculate
the number and the length of the lines I need to build a sheet for the cane.

I needed a cane height of 60 mm for my bracelet tiles.
Again, with the snake being 2.5 mm thick my calculation is:
60mm : 2.5 = 24 lines.  …..  Well I made 25 ;)

To determine the required length of the lines I divided the
5 meters (5000mm) by 25 lines which gave me a length of 20 cm (200mm) for each line.

Makes sense? Are you still with me?

When the clay sheet is done, roll over it with a brayer or
an acrylic roller to adhere the lines to each other.

Then use the blade to lift the sheet up, cut the sheet in half and stack.
Do that at least 2 more times – the resulting cane should be at least 6  sheets high.

I needed to repeat the whole process (cutting out circles, extruding,
laying out, cut, stack) to have a cane big enough to cover my bracelet tiles.

Now reduce the cane a bit, cut it in slices and arrange them on a thin sheet of clay
(I rolled mine out on a #4 stetting on my atlas).

Lay the decorated sheet between two sheets of deli or baking paper
and rub over it with your acrylic roller to close all the seams.
DON’T ROLL but RUB, in order to not stretch out the clay.

Your veneer is done. Now you can decorate whatever piece you like with it.

Have fun and happy claying!

© Bettina Welker, 2012 



  1. Jackie 14. Juli 2012 at 16:55 -

    I have already posted a comment on you flicker page but I did want to say that I think your name should be attached to this I perpetuity, just like the stroppel cane so I will call it bettinas pixelated cane or welkers retro blend cane haven’t decided which yet. Anyone else on board with this?

  2. Berluce 14. Juli 2012 at 19:31 -

    c’est magnifique ! j’ai essayé et le résultat est bluffant. Merci bien de ce tutos en images très pédagogique.

  3. nanykikous 14. Juli 2012 at 21:56 -

    merci beaucoup pour ce tutoriel. Je me suis régalée à faire ce tuto!

  4. Jael 15. Juli 2012 at 01:16 -

    When you say put the dark side in first, do you mean the dark end will be nearest the circle die? or close to the plunger?

  5. Bettina Welker 15. Juli 2012 at 08:39 -

    Hi dear Jael,
    well, when I say first, then I mean first normally:) I pushed in the dark side of my cane FIRST – which means it passed the opening of the barrel first, which means it’s the side closer to the crank. The lighter side is close to the die.

    But in the end it doesnt mater which side goes in first – I just wanted to let you know how I did to get what you see in the pictures;)
    Looking frward to what you make with the cane!
    happy clayin;)

  6. Cathy 15. Juli 2012 at 22:13 -

    I like “Bettina’s Pixelated Cane”! You must claim this as yours! It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to try it! How generous of you to share this awesome technique!

  7. Patty Schneider 17. Juli 2012 at 14:43 -

    Thank you Bettina for your generous spirit in sharing this technique with all of us! Your work is truly spectacular!

  8. Silvia 18. Juli 2012 at 08:43 -

    gorgeous! I am going to make it in orange tones, my prefered colour! Thank you a lot for sharing your espectacular cane with us!

  9. delphine 19. Juli 2012 at 12:49 -

    I cannot say better than Patty, it’s very generous to share this simple but efficient idea ! I’ll try asap !

  10. Domitsu 20. Juli 2012 at 12:38 -

    Cette canne est magnifique! Merci :)
    Gorgeous and thank very much!…

  11. francoise 21. Juli 2012 at 18:47 -

    What a nice idea ! Thanks Bettina !!!

  12. Peggy Barnes 23. Juli 2012 at 22:47 -

    awesome !!!! You are so generous and kind to share this with all of us. Thank you so much for a wonderful tute.

  13. Idelle 25. Juli 2012 at 18:45 -

    Beautiful! I kinda like Welkers Retro Blend Extruded Cane. I’m really looking forward to your book. Thanks so much for sharing! Thanks for the math also, very helpful for those of us that are math challenged.

  14. Nan (Polynana) 26. Juli 2012 at 09:13 -

    Oh this is beautiful Bettina! Definately claim this as yours. I will be trying this very soon. Thank you for showing.

  15. halka 26. Juli 2012 at 13:51 -

    I had to read it twice to understand everything, but it is logical and easy, and as we usually say in simplicity is the beauty and of course usually easy things are most difficult to discover. Thank you for this pattern, it is wonderfull and it is nice of you, that you shared it with whole polymer clay world for free. I admire your work – Halka from the Czech Republic

  16. Domy 27. Juli 2012 at 20:18 -

    Thanks !!!
    I’ll try your tuto as soon as possible !

  17. Jessica 29. Juli 2012 at 19:51 -

    Thanks to share!
    Beautiful effect and idea! :)

  18. Tova 31. Juli 2012 at 13:22 -

    Thank you Bettina! I am going to call it just – Bettina’s Cane ! I think it is a best name.
    thanks for sharing, it is a VERY beautiful cane indeed! I am running to try it..and I’ll post the results !

    Tova Reshef

  19. lorena 2. August 2012 at 09:23 -

    Wow, It’s wonderfull. The extruder makes marvelous patterns. I love this bracelet… probably I’ll do it. Now I need choose the colours as well as you did. Thank you for your art.

  20. creanny 13. August 2012 at 07:50 -

    Très clair ce tuto pour un résultat magnifique.
    Wonderful work, thanks a lot.

  21. Mary Clare 17. August 2012 at 12:07 -

    This is an awesome tut, Bettina!
    Oh, and I like the name:
    Welkers Retro Cane.
    But…….. Bettina’s Cane is nice and simple and to the point. That’s my input.
    Thank you for sharing. How thoughtful and generous you are.

  22. helen pope 19. August 2012 at 13:43 -

    Yes! I agree! I like using the pixelated cane name better. I’m going to refer to it as that myself from now on. I finally tried it yesterday at my guilds clay day (several of us did), and really liked it! Hope to make a few other color ways later today :-)

  23. helen pope 19. August 2012 at 13:48 -

    Bettina’s Pixelated Cane :-)

  24. anabe 23. August 2012 at 16:58 -

    Thanks !!!!

  25. alabala bijoux 31. August 2012 at 22:13 -

    Thank you! this is of great help! I wish I had the time to try this technique soon… I’ll post your link on my blog so that my readers can see it as well! I look forward to reading your next book!

  26. travellerev 1. September 2012 at 17:57 -

    I think this should be named the Welker cane.

    Using the last name of the artist is in tradition with other great contributions such as the Skinner blend.

    And is a proper way to honour the generosity of the great artists who allowed their research to be used in order to let creativity or all of us to flow

  27. maerys 2. September 2012 at 16:43 -

    c’est du bonheur de réaliser votre cane, merci pour ce partage

  28. Sarah Berman 8. September 2012 at 19:06 -

    This is just amazing, Bettina! I love klimt cane, and it is in most of my pieces. This is a new way to work with this techinique. Congratulations. I loved it!

  29. Subha 17. September 2012 at 06:09 -

    Thank you for sharing your technique so generously. I’m amazed and delighted by how simple it is, yet how incredible the finished effect is. I would love to make something as gorgeous as your bracelet but for now, my initial meanderings are posted on my blog today! :) Thanks a million!.

  30. Wynne 25. September 2012 at 22:17 -

    It is kind and generous of you to share your technique. I’m grateful; nay, close to ecstatic as it’s so beautiful. Vielen dank! Sehr vielen dank!

    You are very creative and talented and have such an unusual spirit of generosity that I truly admire. :)

  31. Inma Jimenez 28. September 2012 at 00:50 -

    Es impresionante , preciosa ,gracias por compartir con todas nosotras .
    Hace dias que tengo ganas de hacerla y al fin lo consegui hoy .
    Me ha encantado hacerla ,no me a quedado tan bonita como a ti ,pero me doy por satisfecha .

  32. silvia giancola 1. Oktober 2012 at 11:35 -

    Dear Bettina,
    I spent the weekend working on it, it’s simply amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!


  33. Tantesherry 3. Oktober 2012 at 13:56 -

    Thank you Bettina for sharing your wonderful tutorial with the polymer clay world :)

    looking forward to tring this asap

    so many great pics at your flicker page of everyones take on it

    I like the name Welker’s Pixelated Cane
    (name it and claim it Lady cuz it is Awesome !!!)

  34. Jean Twigg 5. Oktober 2012 at 08:16 -

    It’s vey kind of you to share your tutorial can’t wait to try it. I love all your work

  35. Aurore 18. Oktober 2012 at 04:50 -

    Thanks a lot for this wonderful tutorial! I will try it this afternoon! I was 3 years in Germany and didn’t know you. Otherwise I would have visit your courses. Now, I’m too far away… Best regards and thanks once more!

  36. Deborah G 18. November 2012 at 21:13 -

    Thank you for your generous sharing of this technique. I’ve seen it done by a few artists, and it always looks spectacular. I will have a lot of fun incorporating this into my work.

  37. Chris 20. Februar 2013 at 09:29 -

    J’adore ! C’est fabuleux !

  38. Susie W 14. März 2013 at 17:55 -

    It’s a funky, fresh piece, Bettina! Thanks for sharing with us!

  39. Gloria 26. März 2013 at 01:01 -

    I just spent the day using your tutorial to teach 4 friends your technique. None had ever used polymer clay prior to this, and they all got beautiful results. Thank you for sharing this!

  40. Jode 20. Mai 2013 at 23:43 -


    Please, please, let us all know what boundaries you have for this ‘retro’ cane. It seems like each artist (example Christi Freisen) has differemt boundaries (making, giving credit, gift giving. selling, teaching) and as PC lovers, we want to respect yours.

  41. Bettina Welker 21. Mai 2013 at 11:07 -

    Hi Jode
    well, – it’s a free tutorial – so you sure can get crazy with it – share it, show it at retreats, make stuff with it for your pleasure or for sale – that’s all fine with me as long as you don’t teach it commercially – so – if you share it – don’t take money for it. But please give credit – that’s all;)


  42. Shannon 5. Juli 2013 at 23:57 -

    Hi Bettina,
    Thanks so much for sharing this cane. I have just started claying again after a one year break and found this technique very inspirational. I have posted about my play with this technique on my blog (
    On a side-note, I am obsessed with polymer bangles and have just purchased your book. It is fabulous! Can’t wait to try some of the projects out over the next few weeks.
    Thanks heaps xoxo

  43. Kate 8. Juli 2013 at 02:30 -

    Thank you! My husband just tried this with me and we are both astounded. Such a brilliant idea and a wonderful generous spirit!

  44. Mirabelle 20. August 2013 at 19:48 -

    Hi Bettina,
    thancks so much for a beautiful tutorial, i like this technique.
    au plaisir de te revoir en Normandie peut-être. Bises. Isabelle

  45. Melody 29. Oktober 2013 at 23:11 -

    Thank you so much for posting the tutorial. I bought a clay gun and I am going to try it within the next 2 days. Thanks a bunch.

  46. Peggy 30. Januar 2014 at 09:24 -

    Bettina another brilliant tutorial you are most generous to share with all of us. This is a must try. What a wonderful inspiration you are to all of us.
    Thank you so very much.

  47. Natalie Herbin 2. März 2014 at 15:18 -

    Thank you for sharing this new twist on using. The extruder … Can’t wait to try it…. You inspire our creative juices for polymer clay creations.. Thanks again for letting us into your wonderful creative ideas!!!

  48. Suzanne Tainsh 31. März 2014 at 23:25 -

    All I can say is ditto to all comments. Thank You Bettina. Love it.

  49. Vickie 13. April 2014 at 00:03 -

    I’m new to flaying and my cane came out perfect! Thanks for a great tutorial!!

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