Easy peasy payback

Polymer artists have helped pediatrician/artist Ron Lehocky reach another milestone – 24,000 hearts sold with all the proceeds going to the Kids Center in Louisville, KY

Ron’s celebrating by donating a Friday Freebee. These hearts were all made using his Easy-peasy Extruder Cane Technique which he offers as payback.

When Ron asked for scrap, artists responded with heaps of unloved canes and designs gone wrong. He figured out ways to turn them into fundraising fashion statements.

You might enjoy his video story here and his past features on PCD here. He’s been a powerhouse behind the Nepali project too. He doesn’t have much time for social media, as you might imagine, but you can reach him by email if you want to buy some hearts or send him your scrap. Heartfelt thanks, Ron!

  • reply Cara Jane ,

    I can’t imagine making 24,000 heart ! Ron rocks!

    • reply Lynda Moseley ,

      AWESOME! Congratulations, Dr. Ron, and thank you for the freebie tut!

      • reply Francie Owens ,

        Congratulations Ron on another milestone. Thanks for sharing the great tutorial. It works great for your small heart canvases. You are such a great inspiration!

        • reply Deborah Ross ,

          Thank you for your generosity, Ron. I’m heading to my studio to try this right now!

          • reply judy livengood ,


            • reply Lee Ann ,

              Easy peasy TECHNIQUE. Use any extruder with the hole bore disc and the square shape disc. The hole bore is sold separately and makes a center hole for beading. When combined with the square disc it forces the clay into 4 sections and creates a different pattern.

              • reply ron lehocky ,

                Judy, This is a technique I devised using equipment that includes an extruder (I used the green one by Makin’) , the square disk that comes with the extruder and an additional attachment (sold separately) called a core extruder (the smallest or 1 mm one) . Make sure your old cane is soft and pliable, size it to fit the barrel, put the square disk into the cap followed by the core attachment, screw it on and then extrude out a long square cane with the image inside. Very easy. Good luck. Let me know if you have more questions. I will be happy to guide you through the process.

              • reply Lee Ann ,

                I collect Ron’s hearts and use them as inspiration. Inspiration for art but more importantly – inspiration for how to live your life.

              • reply Diane Bruce ,

                Thank you so much for the tutorial Ron! It’s awesome! Congratulations on another milestone. Thanks for caring about sick kids. I live in Canada and have 2 kids with Type 1 diabetes. I know how much it means to me as a mom to have caring people looking after our kids. Thank you for being a caring doctor!

                • reply Alice Stroppel ,

                  24,000 hearts, a wonderful accomplishment and the truth is you’ve touch way more hearts than that by your generosity. Ron, always sharing, thank you.

                  • reply Sherry Bailey ,

                    GENIUS!! Philanthropist AND genius! Since pretty much all the canes I try to make could benefit from this treatment I especially appreciate the tips. Ron Lehocky, I nominate you for Patron Saint of Polymer Clay for your contributions to society using our favorite medium! Such a wonderful human being! (You make me squirm since I’m more selfish, though… I should work on that.)

                    • reply ron lehocky ,

                      Thanks, Sherry, for your kind words. I wish the nun I had in middle school could read your remarks. She had me destined for a much different fate!!! Enjoy the
                      E-P extruder cane technique. It is pretty amazing.

                    • reply Alison Gallant ,

                      Wow Ron, yet another thousand! What a brilliant achievement by a wonderful man! We would love you to come to EuroSynergy in Malta next year with a suitcase full of hearts. Guaranteed it would go home empty!

                      • reply Trina Williams ,

                        Amazing record! Thanks for all you do for kids. In my thirty years as a school nurse the rise in the number of kids needing medical help at school (diabetics, asthmatics) has risen as the number of nurses available has gone down. The ratio in CA is especially dismal and I and a number of other retired nurses work as vision and hearing screeners to free up the regular nurses for what they need to do.
                        Also, in my 20 years with polymer clay I have a TON of scrap. My first teacher, Joanne Hunot, told us to never throw away any clay, and I didn’t!

                        • reply Chris Owens ,

                          Fantastic! Now on to the Quarter Million $$ mark! And a big celebration.

                          • reply Nikolina Otržan ,

                            I’m so glad I get a chance to meet Dr. Ron in Atlanta in March and to see some of his wonderful hearts. I’m puting my leftover canes together and will be shipping them any day now <3

                            • reply Ron Lehocky ,

                              Nikolina, that wil be a great treat. You are a fantastic caner as well as a generous caring and talented person. Thanks so much. Looking forward to instilling your “spirit” into my hearts.

                              Just want to make an unsolicited PSA: Nikolina has some wonderful caning tutorials available on http://www.craftartedu.com. Check them out.

                            • reply Sabine Spiesser ,

                              Wow, 24 000 hearts, that’s one big heart for kids. The best part is though, that they are so well made, diverse and interesting. I hope they one day will become collectors items. Thank you for the tute. It is my favourite extrusion trick. I just love all the dainty flowers one can create. Keep the good work coming, Ron. It’s a fabulous cause.
                              I just thought I would mention a new Lucy clay extruder I just purchased from Germany (http://www.polymerclay.de/LC-Tools-CZEXTRUDER/CZEXTRUDER-F-XXL-18-cm.html). It makes extruding with a drill a breeze, lots more flowers or spaghetti, or whatever with a lot less muscle power. One model comes with crank handle as well as metal drill adaptor. http://www.czextruder.cz/. I have no links to the company, just read what Ronna wrote about it. This is one piece of equipment that is worth every cent.

                              • reply Katrina ,

                                Wow this looks like so much fun!

                                • reply Kit Lockwood ,

                                  It’s inspiring to see how Ron’s creativity developed over the years. You can see it in the hearts. I love his work. What a great guy! Thanks for the tutorial. Great idea! And thank you, Cynthia, for sharing the video with us. So nice to have the opportunity to see Ron as he is today (all I’ve ever seen is that older photo) and hear him tell his story.

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