Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another extruder trick- making rope

As long as I am on the extruder thing, I thought I would post this. You can use this for twisted beads using the bead corers if you want, but I am just going to show how to make a rope the easy way.

Mix up and condition your color choice of clay. I am using the violet Cernit mixed 1:1 with the
porcelain white Cernit, 1. because I had it left over from the cloisonne beads I made before and 2. because the violet color of Cernit is so wonderfully beautiful.
Roll out a little coil or plug of clay that is about 2 1/2" long and slightly smaller in diameter than the inside diameter of the Makin's Clay Extruder barrel. You will also need the cloverleaf disk that comes with the Clay Extruder.
Put the disk in to the end cap and the clay in to the barrel, put the end cap and disk on the end of the clay extruder and screw it on.
Screw down the handle of the extruder until the clay starts coming out the end of the extruder, continue until you have extruded all of the clay out of the gun. It does about 12". Cut in to 4" pieces for easier control and to practice with. Hold one end of the extruded cloverleaf and with your other hand and roll the other end gently away from you. This will twist up the cloverleaf and you will have a rope just like that.

You can use these for all kinds of things, beads, like I said before or making into shapes. I am sure there are tons of other things you can come up with using this rope.

Here is a heart I made out of this rope.

Also you can use it to wrap around cut out shapes. When I used to make custom wedding couples many years ago they would stand on a large cut out heart and I would wrap this rope coil around the heart to camouflage the cut edges...and besides that it looked very cool. I love those 2 birds, one stone things.

So if you condition your clay and roll it out on the thickest setting in your pasta machine or about an 1/8" thick and fold the clay in half to double the thickness, then you can cut out a shape with a cutter. The cutter I am using here is a 1" round Kemper cutter, yes, you heard me right they make them now. Sometimes Howard needs to be booted in the pants to get him load things up on the website, so you just write him at order(at) and tell him you would love to have one of those 1" round kemper cutters. Substitute that word (at) for the sign. Tell him Marie sent you.
Once you have the shape, then you take the rope and place it around the shape. Cut the leading edge of the rope with your clay blade for straight edge first.

Wrap completely around the shape and the end of the coil will overlap the beginning end of the coil. Cut off the outside one there and butt the edges together, I used to do this on the hearts and begin and end the rope in between the lobes of the heart.
I hope you all are have a GREAT weekend.

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