Let me start out by saying that this is not a post on how to make a Paradox cane, rather, it’s a post on how I learned an easier way to put together a Paradox cane. Some background:
I have been having a ball these past few weeks trying out the various canes put forth in the cane challenges sponsored by the Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild. We are given a link to a tutorial or a video on how to make a polymer cane. We post the results on the Guild’s private Facebook page and share what we’ve learned in online meetings.
The first cane challenge was the Paradox cane, a beautiful cane that lends itself to so many variations. Here’s a picture of one that I made.
Motley Woods has a good tutorial for making a Paradox cane, as does Polymer Clay Workshop on YouTube. There are many others which I have not seen and a great many variations on how make one. Meg Newberg’s tutorial on Etsy comes highly recommended. You can purchase it here. If I ever get back into serious caning, Meg’s tute is probably one of the first tutorials I would purchase because I’ve heard so many great things about it.
The Paradox cane patterns that I have seen consist of three triangle components joined together and formed into a larger triangle which comprises the cane. A big problem many people face when assembling a paradox cane is putting the three component triangles together to form a larger triangle. After you select your clay, arrange it in accordance with the method you are using, and form it into a square, you are normally directed to form that square into a triangle, reduce it, and cut the triangle into three pieces to form the final cane.
And this is where the problem comes in. Most people think Equilateral triangle when they think of a triangle, but that won’t work here with the Paradox cane. Instead, think Isosceles triangle. Like this.
From there, it’s easy to alter the triangle as per the instructions, cut the cane into thirds, and then fit the three pieces together into a triangle for the final cane.
Forming Isosceles triangles enables you to bring the edge of each component triangle right up to the edge of the neighboring component triangle. The sections in the middle are pinched into wave shapes that interlock and become solid when all the components are joined and compressed into a larger triangle which forms the cane.
And the cane is done! From there, you decide how you want to reassemble and/or reduce your creation.