Just a helpful (I hope) hint on making canes. Just think of what a
patchwork quilt would look like if the person who made it left some holes in
the design. And how messy the quilt would be if the borders were not even.
Remember that while you are building your cane be SURE to fill in any gaps.
Cane parts that are shaped like straws (round) or any other odd shape
must be surrounded by small pieces of the background or neighboring color to
protect their shape when reducing. Plan your design on paper and then use
clay to fill in all of the parts of the design. Then, try this with a
small amount of clay. I used to use this to teach all of my students how to
make a simple cane that could be reduced to 1/4 inch for mini candy
slices for doll-house gingerbread houses. Make a triangle shaped stick,
green for a tree, add a small brown square shape or rectangle for a tree
trunk. Now cut a round cane in half, maybe in light blue) lengthwise and
place the halfs on either side of the tree, repeat with a smaller cane of
green side of the trunk. Now look at the end of the cane, is your tree
standing up nice and even? Good. But is there an even amount of background
color around the tree design? Most likely not, there is more sky than
grass and if you try to reduce this cane the tree will start to tip over or
look like a bush. Your completed design MUST be in the center of your
cane before you start to reduce it. If it is not, add more background even
if you later need to trim off some before using the cane slices.