While doing a project for my new book “Polymer Clay Bracelets” I was doing an extruded veneer for a bracelet. I had some leftovers with which I just played around a little bit – I stacked it, compressed it etc. Then, when I cut it open I suddenly had this beautiful blended rainbow cane in front of me. The original veneer was a spiral and so the cane I had now was not a rectangle – it was more shaped like a piece of cake. I definitely had to try and figure out what had happened inside this extrusion and translate the whole process into a rectangular shaped cane. I called the cane “Pixelated Retro Blend Cane” – maybe you guys come up with a better name for it:)
So, here is how it’s done:
Mix at least 5 different shades of a color.
I used light green and blue with 3 mixes of both in between.
Roll the sheets out on the thickest setting (#1) of your PM and
punch out 4 circles of each color with a cookie cutter that matches
the diameter of the extruder barrel.
Roll out black and white (#1) clay and punch out
6 circles of white and 5 circles of black
Arrange the circles like shown, compress it a little and
feed it (dark side first) into the barrel of your extruder.
Insert the small circle die (2.5mm) and extrude a long snake.
Then lay out the snake like shown in the picture, starting with the light color
Using this amount of clay my snake was around 5 meters long.
With the diameter of the snake being 2.5 mm I now can calculate
the number and the length of the lines I need to build a sheet for the cane.
I needed a cane height of 60 mm for my bracelet tiles.
Again, with the snake being 2.5 mm thick my calculation is:
60mm : 2.5 = 24 lines. ….. Well I made 25 ;)
To determine the required length of the lines I divided the
5 meters (5000mm) by 25 lines which gave me a length of 20 cm (200mm) for each line.
Makes sense? Are you still with me?
When the clay sheet is done, roll over it with a brayer or
an acrylic roller to adhere the lines to each other.
Then use the blade to lift the sheet up, cut the sheet in half and stack.
Do that at least 2 more times – the resulting cane should be at least 6 sheets high.
I needed to repeat the whole process (cutting out circles, extruding,
laying out, cut, stack) to have a cane big enough to cover my bracelet tiles.
Now reduce the cane a bit, cut it in slices and arrange them on a thin sheet of clay
(I rolled mine out on a #4 stetting on my atlas).
Lay the decorated sheet between two sheets of deli or baking paper
and rub over it with your acrylic roller to close all the seams.
DON’T ROLL but RUB, in order to not stretch out the clay.
Your veneer is done. Now you can decorate whatever piece you like with it.
Have fun and happy claying!© Bettina Welker, 2012