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Octopus Cane: The Tutorial


Let’s just get right into it.  I’m going to show you how to make one of these guys:

You’ll need clay in white and black for the eyes, blue for the background, and a light and dark of whatever color you want your octopus to be (they can, after all, change color, so your choices are not limited).  I picked green, because I had green.  Funny how that works.

1) Make a skinner blend, then roll it up into a tube with the light side inside.  Reduce it and cut the cane into two pieces, one larger than the other, and squish the longer piece flat.

2) Then run it through a pasta machine on its largest setting.  Barring access to a pasta machine, do this.

3) Cut the flat tube into four equal pieces…

4) …then cut those pieces in half lengthwise.

5) Squish the dark end of each of your halves into a point.  These, if you haven’t already figured it out, are your tentacles.

6) Now for the head.  Pick up the second log all the way from step 1, and squish it into a light bulb shape.  You can make sure it’s the same length as the tentacles at this point, too.

7) Here’s where I forgot to take a few pictures, so read carefully.  Stack four tentacles on top of each other, and squish down the non-pointy/light side until it will fit on half of the narrow end of your light bulb.  Stick ’em on and arrange.  To attach them more firmly, run a toothpick along both sides of each tentacle.  Be patient- it’s fiddly.

I hope that makes sense.  Let me know if it doesn’t.  Next? Do the other four.

8) Now make two eyes.  First, roll out a thin black snake twice the length of your octopus cane.  Then roll out a sheet of white clay on the largest setting of your pasta machine, wrap the black snake, and cut it in half.  Voila!  Eyes.

9) That looks rather cephalopod-ish, no?  Now you just need to fill in the background.  Roll out your blue into a sheet as wide as your cane is long, then use your fingers to press down the edge like you did on the tentacles.

10) Stick this pointy end between two tentacles, then cut it to the same length as the tentacles.  Then take it out, and use it to cut enough pieces of the same shape to fit between all the tentacles.  Stick ’em in.

11) And when you’re done with the tentacles, fill in the rest of the gaps until it’s round.

12) Wrap the whole thing around once or twice with the same blue, then reduce the cane to your desired size.

Yup.  That’s an octopus.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. 05/03/2010 7:43 AM

    Wow – that really is an octopus. I’m amazed at how clay caning works. Great tutorial – I’m stumbling you.

  2. 05/03/2010 7:35 PM

    Great tute, Octopi are kewl, right up there with squids!

    • 05/05/2010 11:27 AM

      Now all I have to do is figure out a Cuttlefish cane, and maybe a Nautilus, and my collection will be complete.

  3. 05/05/2010 5:37 AM

    Oh my goodness! he is cute.

    I never knew I had a cephalopod infatuation until I discovered you.

  4. 05/11/2010 11:31 AM

    OMG, that is seriously the greatest button design and use of clay I’ve ever seen!!!!! :)

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