Sunday, April 24, 2011

April Clay Day Demo: Beads

For our April demo, Rebecca demonstrated how to make simple beads:

1. Make a sheet of clay
2. Roll it up into a tube to create the center core
3. Cover the outside of the core with a single decorated sheet
4. Cut the core into equal pieces
5. Roll each piece into a ball
6. Pierce and place on a rack to go into the oven

Now, that's a pretty short list of steps, but within each step are multiple variations you can make to put your own creativity into the set. You might want to create mix-and-match shapes in different sizes, or flatten or stretch the ball to create oblongs or lentils. You can pinch the ends of your cut pieces to hide the clay in the core, or you can use a cane, a jellyroll, or a layered tube for your center core and let it remain visible. Instead of a decorated sheet you can cover the core with individual pieces of clay. There are a million possibilities!

For the demo on this day, Rebecca had purple and gold scraps so they became the source materials for the decorated sheet shown below. The scraps, along with some translucent clay, were rolled into a sheet until a pretty blend, sort of like an abstract watercolor painting, was achieved.

Below is the decorated sheet that was created with purple and gold scrap clay rolled flat, then sliced into strips, and laid on the base sheet with a tiny space in between the strips. The sheet of strips was run through the pasta machine several times to let the base clay (black in the sample below) squeeze up through the strips and create a third stripe in the pattern.

Then that sheet was applied lengthwise around the core, and then the core was cut into several pieces and shaped.

Here is what they became...

...and this.

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