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PC03: Millefiori Basics

w/ Donna Kato


video sleeve image

$24.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Tools and Materials
Jellyroll Cane
Checkboard and Quilt canes
Rainbow and Stained Glass Canes
Flower Cane
Watermelon Cane
Stubby Pen

Approx. Running Time: 46 minutes

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 "Stubby Pen."

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 reduction process.

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 of projects.