Friday, March 25, 2011

African Trade beads- part 5

Above is the bead that was shown in part 4, baked,
and  antiqued with brown Ne-Opaque.
The pattern we are making in part 5 has the blue and
 white center and orange and yellow around the outside you can see it above
in the bead. 
This is a series of African trade bead primary patterns, this is part 5,

you can see part 1 here,

you can see part 2 here,

you can see part 3 here,

you can see part 4 here,

You will need:
Yellow Cernit
Poppy Red Cernit
Navy Blue Cernit
Opaque White Cernit
Porcelain White Cernit
Makin's Professional Extruder
Clay Extruder Disks- set 1 and set 2
Makin's Clay Machine
Clay Slicing Blade
Double ended Knitting needle- 1 1/2mm
Bamboo skewer

Links for products will lead to my Hubby's store  

Thank you for shopping at the Clay Factory, not just a clay store anymore.;-D

I mix all of the colors (red, navy, and yellow) with equal amount of porcelain white and a 3/8" ball of opaque white.
I mix the Opaque white separately with equal parts of the porcelain white.

I am going to use two disks in the clay extruder this time to change the shape of the disks available.
I am using the half circle from disk set 2
a that other one trapezoid (?) on the right from disk set 1

Place the Tall trapezoid shape into the end cap that goes on to the end of the extruder barrel. Add two tiny tiny balls of the blue clay to the face of the disk and press them into place.

Place the half circle over the top of the balls of clay and the disks. Press the disk in place at the balls underneath with the flat end of the skewer.

Use the knitting needle to adjust the half circle gently so it is in the right place to cut off the top and the bottom of the tall trapezoid disk.

Like so.

Start with the blue and condition it well before adding it to the extruder barrel. Add it to the extruder barrel by rolling a coil of blue slightly smaller than the barrel of the extruder and the length of the extruder barrel.
Load the barrel and then screw on the cap.
Extrude the full barrel.
The slower you turn the less cracking you will get. It doesn't seem to matter whether it cracks or not though in the canes.

Next condition some more blue and roll it in to a coil that is about 3" long and trim both end flat so it is 2 1/2" long. 
Make the coil 5/8" in diameter.
Condition and roll out some of the opaque white clay on the thickest setting in your clay machine. Make the sheet about 3" wide and at least 4" long.
Bevel the leading edge with you blade.
Trim the edges so that the sheet is the same width as the coil of blue.
Roll the coil back and then away from you to pick up the leading edge.
Roll the blue coil up in the white and roll the sheet of white over on the other end of the sheet gently and then roll it back so you can see the mark.
Lean the blade back towards you and cut a beveled edge right before the line closest to the coil.
Roll up the coil and enclose the blue coil.
Meet the edges and smooth them down to the blue coil.

Take the blue extruded trapezoid coil and cut it to the length of the white wrapped blue coil.
Add the blue cut sections to the white wrapped coil.
Add them all the way around the coil.
Condition and roll out another sheet of Opaque white on the 4th thickest setting in your clay machine. Make the sheet the width of the center coil you are building.
Tuck the end of the sheet in to the dip between the extruded piece and attach it to one of the long trapezoids by rolling the point of the knitting needle against it gently.
Wrap it around a few of the extruded blue pieces.
With the knitting needle press it gently in to each dip of a few of the extruded blue pieces.
Continue to wrap and tuck a little at a time.
Trim off the end of the sheet to match the other end.
Press the just cut end of the sheet in to the dip.
Hold/cradle the cane you have made so far gently in your palm and press the indents a little further in with the knitting needle.
Flip the cane from end to end in your palm and press them in a little bit more all the way around again.
Condition some red and load up the barrel of the clay extruder and put the triangle that comes with the extruder set and extrude the full barrel as a triangle.
Place the triangle extrusions in to the dip around the cane.
Add the triangles to the cane vertically until you get a few of them on and then you can lay the cane on those added few triangles and add the rest.
Roll the cane gently on your work surface to place the triangles in and on the cane.

Condition some red and roll out a sheet on the thickest setting in your clay machine to wrap the cane with. 
Make the width of the sheet the same as the length of the cane 2 1/2" by at least 6".
I had to cut another sheet. I made this one too short in the photograph.
Wrap the cane as you have done with the solid sheets of clay before.

Condition some yellow clay and roll out a sheet on the thickest setting in your clay machine and then do that with the red too.
Make the red sheet 2 1/2" wide by 5-6" long and then cut the yellow one by laying the red sheet on top of it and measuring from the red sheet.
Do not mash the sheets together and then you be able to separate them if you have some left over after cutting your stripes.

Here the two sheets are together.

Using the clay slicing blade cut the sheets about 1/8". Cut with the blade straight up and down and slide/pull the blade towards you so the cut piece sticks on your blade.

Pick up the blade with the cut piece sticking to it and lay it on top of the stack using it to measure the next cut. If you stand up and look over the top of your sheets it is easier to measure the cuts from the last cut.

I also use both hands for this, I only show one hand because I have to take pictures with one hand.
Look over the top of the blade and the sheets and then cut and slide/ pull the blade towards you.

  Do it again.


Cut and slide/pull as long as you can so you have a whole stripe sheet to wrap around your cane.

 Wrap that striped sheet around your cane and roll gently on the work surface to tack everything together.
Make sure that your ends of the striped sheet are not the same color.
You can force in another color so that two yellows or reds are not touching or you will have a wide stripe of one of those colors.

Grab the cane about 1" below the end of the cane and squeeze the cane and turn it a little and squeeze it again and turn it a little and squeeze and turn it just a little.

You continue this way a little at a time while ascending to the top or the end of the cane.

Turn the cane over from end to end and start where the cane starts to bulge out and proceed to squeeze and turn a little, squeeze and turn a little, squeeze and turn a little, squeeze and turn a little, then move up the cane a little. Do this until you reach the other end of the cane.

Your cane should be about half the size then. It will be somewhat lumpy and bumpy until you get practiced at this. Even then it will be lumpy just not as drastic as in the beginning. It will still be fine.
The ends of the cane will bulge out a little too and that is OK.

Then roll the cane on the work surface gently, moving both of your palms from the center gently outward, and rotating the cane 360 plus degrees forward and backward.

Again, pretend you see my other hand in this picture, thumbs crossed over each other and then hands moving outwards as I roll forward and starting again in the middle as I roll backward.

It is best not to press really hard and best to let the work surface or table do most of the work.

This cane is about 14-15" in length and about 3/4" in diameter and is nice and smooth from rolling.
Not short rolls, that adds lumps and an oval or non-circular shape to the cane, but long rolls that go from the tip of the fingers to the end of the palm and back.

Move the blade forward and roll the cane forward to cut the cane in half. Hold the blade straight up and down.


  1. Thanks for these tutorials. I specially like the way you used two disks together on the extruder. Brilliant idea.

  2. It amazes me - the patience and technique it takes to do this. I love the first two pics - they look like alien caterpillars!!!

  3. That is so col!! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Wow, when I saw the first picture on my blog roll, I thought it was an especially beautiful caterpillar. Only to find out that it's one of your creations!! You do such gorgeous work!! Love, Silke

  5. that is so cool :D thanks for posting all these tuts, very very helpful

  6. You make it look so easy Marie!

    I've never been good at caning...

    Hope you are well my friend : )

  7. Another wonderful tutorial! I love the color of these beads. Thanks, Marie! :) Theresa

  8. These are gorgeous i want to make some now hehehe

  9. Wow, brilliant post, it's inspired me to get my polymer clay out!

  10. Brilliant guide, I think I'll give it a try myself but doubt they'll come out anywhere near as good as yours!


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