How to Make a Skull Cane
I think, at this point, I’ve got more polymer clay cane tutorials than any other sort of tutorial on this blog. I’ll have to work on that. Meanwhile, here’s how you take a couple of blocks of clay in black and white, and turn it into a grinning skull of badassery.
To begin with, you’ll need a block of white polymer clay and a block of black… or maybe multiple blocks, if you want a huge cane, or half-blocks, if you want a small one. You might have noticed I don’t talk about specific amounts in my cane tutorials; that’s because it’s the proportions that are important, and here the proportions should be roughly equal.
You’ll also want some tools: a toothpick, some kind of straight, thin blade, and something to roll even, flat sheets of clay. I use a pasta machine. Barring a pasta machine, try something like this. A ruler can also come in handy.
Part one: roll a nice log of black clay. Then…
…cut it in half.
Roll out a sheet of white clay on the largest setting of your pasta machine (about 1/8 of an inch on mine) and as wide as your logs are long, then wrap each log neatly in said sheet. These will be your eye sockets.
Roll out another log, roughly the length of your eye sockets, and shape it into a triangle. Then use your toothpick to indent one side of it.
Wrap this one in a sheet of white clay too. Your toothpick will come in handy for getting the white clay into the indent. This is your nose… socket. Hole. I took human anatomy, I swear!
Roll out three logs of white clay, then piece them together with the eyes and nose as seen above. That’s the beginning of a skull there; now we just need to fill it in to get the right shape.
First note for getting the right shape: humans have huge foreheads. Seriously. Make a big fat cane, then make it fatter. We’ve got big brains, big enough to build skyscrapers and space shuttles and little colorful packs of polymer clay, so our skulls have to make room for the absurd things.
Fill it out to make it round, then wrap it in a sheet or two to make it even bigger. Huge forehead. Seriously. Next, as shown above, you’ll want to add in some cheekbones. I find some good, well-defined cheekbones are important in making an effective skull.
Roll out a white sheet on the largest setting, as wide as the skull is long. Trim the edges to make it a rectangle.
Fold the sheet until you’ve got a stack that’s about the width of a tooth. That’s not very specific, I know, but how wide your teeth need to be depends on how large you’ve made your cane. You’re going to want to be able to fit four of them on the bottom of the skull WITHOUT covering up the cheekbones (we’ll actually be adding more cheekbone a little later to make sure they stand out), and you’ll want a layer of black between each. Don’t get too stressed about size, though- we’re going to have to squish it down anyway. For my cane, I made my teeth three layers wide.
Like I said, four teeth. I cut two slightly larger than the other teeth.
This is the point where the layer of black goes between each of the teeth. Now we must squish those teeth down to size. Remember: we don’t want the teeth to attach to the cheekbones. We want them narrower than that.
There it is, teeth properly squished, and a bit more added to the cheekbones. Take a look at your skull, because this is the time to adjust. If the eyes or nose have been a bit obscured, don’t worry; they’re still in there. It’s the outline we’re looking at. Big forehead, big cheekbones, and a nice grinning mouth. Add little logs and sheets and chunks of clay until it looks like a skull, then squish and smooth all the bits together.
Now we fill the cane in with black, until it’s round.
And that, my friends, is a skull cane. Reduce it, then use it for what you will. I, of course, will use it for buttons- and I’m thinking to turn a button blank or two into pendants and charms.