You Can Make Millefiori Canes That Rival The Very
Best Work Of Venetian Glass Makers
Millefiori is a technique borrowed and adapted from ancient
Venetian glass makers. In "Millefiori Basics" of
The Master Artisans Of Polymer Clay Video Series from Mindstorm
Productions, you'll learn how easy it is to make millefiori
canes using clay and a few simple tools. Canes are pictures
that run lengthwise through the clay.
Your guide for this video is Donna Kato, an author whose
articles are regularly featured in Crafts, Lapidary Journal,
Bead & Button, and Michael's Arts & Crafts magazines,
and Master Polymer Clay Artisan for Polyform, makers of Sculpey.
Donna will teach you how to make a Jelly Roll, Stained Glass,
Checkerboard, Quilt Pattern, Flower, and Watermelon Cane.
You'll also learn how to reduce the canes without distorting
the image. As an added treat, you'll learn how to apply cane
slices to a simple Bic stick pen to create Donna's special
To make the millefiori patterns, you'll need some basic tools
for working with the clays. Perhaps the most important tool,
however, is one that money can't buy, but that you already
own: your hands.
You'll begin by creating the simplest cane of all: The Jellyroll
Cane. How simple is it? Well, once you've conditioned your
gold and black clay, your finished cane is only a few cuts
and rolls away. Yes! It's that simple! And it's just as easy
to reduce the cane using your fingers as your guide. Donna
will also show you how to minimize wasting clay during the
Next you'll create the Checkerboard and Quilt Canes. These
are a little more complicated, but easy to make if you follow
along the step-by-step process Donna outlines. She'll show
you how to cut and position the black and white clay pieces
to create the checkerboard pattern.
What will you do with these canes once they're complete?
"Some of the nicest millefiori vessels and picture frames
I've ever seen incorporate a lot of these checkerboard canes
simply because of its strong graphic impact," Donna says.
And speaking of graphic impact, nothing is more colorful
than a Rainbow. And once you've mastered the basic checkerboard
pattern, you'll learn how to use a similar technique to create
a Rainbow Checkerboard. It's so easy, you'll be amazed!
Your next project will be to turn a Rainbow Jellyroll into
Stained Glass. "The Rainbow Jellyroll is really only
a little more complex than the normal Jellyroll," says
Donna as she rolls and cuts dusty rose, lavender, atomic orange,
and hot pink clay into 1/8" slices. "Of course,
when you make yours you're going to use the colors that you
choose," she says.
As with all the videos in this series, camera closeups and
step-by-step instruction leave no doubt as to how things are
done. A few simple cuts and rolls later and you can transform
your Rainbow Checkerboard into a beautiful stained glass pattern.
But wait, there's more! A green thumb is easy when you've
got Donna to teach you how to make a Flower Cane. Although
this technique is a bit more complex than the previous ones
on this video, it's easy once you begin. Using lavender and
orange clay, you'll create the flower's petals. You'll then
use the stripped Jellyroll you created earlier to make the
flower's center. Finally, you'll pack the cane with green
clay to complete your flower.
Once you earn your "green thumb," why not reward
yourself with a juicy slice of watermelon? You can if you
follow Donna's instructions for making a Watermelon Cane.
Depending on your appetite, you can make a whole watermelon,
half watermelon, or a single slice if that's what you crave.
After mastering millefiori canes Donna will show you how
to use them to make her special "Stubby Pen." The
video ends with a visual potpourri of a few of the numerous
ways you might use your millefiori canes to create a variety