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The Surfing Cat Graduated Pointy Stripe Extruder Technique - Polymer Clay Tutorial

The Surfing Cat Graduated Pointy Stripe Extruder Technique - Polymer Clay Tutorial

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Published by surfingcat
A tutorial to show you how I created the graduated pointy stripe beads using polymer clay and an extruder.
A tutorial to show you how I created the graduated pointy stripe beads using polymer clay and an extruder.

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Published by: surfingcat on Mar 11, 2010
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09/10/2014

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The Graduated Pointy Stripes Extruder Technique

The very first graduated pointy stripes extruder technique beads!
I discovered this technique in a ‘happy accident’ using Kato clay to try and make extruder flower canes using a technique developed by some very clever people, Nathalie and Galina. The instructions for the extruder flower technique that I was trying to use can be found on Galina’s Russian blog http://grgalina.livejournal.com/58240.html. The graduated pointy stripes technique has always worked with Kato clay for me and I have had it work with Fimo Soft and Premo as long as they are not too conditioned, although there may be less ‘texture’ between the stripes. There is a way round it if it doesn’t work on it’s own.

The Graduated Pointy Stripes Technique
Here is what you need.   A clay extruder (I have a Makin’s Professional Clay Extruder) Several colours of polymer clay rolled into sheets (I used the thickest setting on my pasta machine) Some scrap clay for the inside of the beads and for backing your stripes. A sharp knife

 

Take your sheets of clay, I used brown, white and orange, and use the end of the extruder to cut out several circles of each colour. Arrange them together in a stack, as shown above. You will need to slightly reduce the diameter of the stack to get it to fit in the barrel of the extruder, just give it a roll. As in the original flower technique you put the extruder dies together as shown below. The large hexagon on the outside, the spare rubber ring for the extruder acts as a spacer, and then the disc with the 7 large-ish circular holes, this is the disc nearest the clay in the barrel.

Pop the clay in the barrel and tighten the top of the extruder, but not too hard, remember it won’t go on as far as normal because you have the 2 discs and a spacer in there. Start to extrude the clay. As in the original directions I hold my thumb over the end of the barrel until it has got started or you just pump out the middle strand and you want all 7 together. Keep your thumb over the end until you can see a hexagon shape being extruded (you will need to peek to check when it is OK to let go). Once a hexagon shape starts to come, move your thumb and extrude away.

This is what you get – looks terrible but don’t panic it’s what you want! You should have a centre strand surrounded by some ragged looking ‘outer casing’. It’s the outer casing we are after – it’s the bit with the amazingly graduated pointed stripes. With Kato clay there are some crumbly bits at the corners where the strips meet, this is what makes the textured bit between the stripes. The outer casing would be the petals if the flower cane had extruded in one piece. You can carefully open up the outer casing along one of the seams starting from a place it is open already.

Like so! You can then remove the central strand which isn’t as pretty as the outer strands. The outer strands are flat on the back. I tend to open it all out along one join into as flat a sheet as I can. If it has come apart on several joins you can gently persuade them together or you may find it easier to lay them on a thin sheet of scrap to handle them. What you do with the lovely strands is up to you. Here are some things I have done.

Making small round beads
Roll a log of scrap clay to the diameter you wish the beads to be and cover it in the striped sheet of clay you made Cut into equal sized slices (using a ruler makes this easier to keep them the same size)

Using your thumb and first finger, gently work round one of the open ends of the bead pinching the nice clay up slightly to cover the scrap. Repeat the procedure at the other end. You are then ready to give it a gentle roll to make it more round.

Making a flat pendant
Put the strips onto a sheet of scrap clay. I cut the strips in half length ways and then stacked them underneath to make a wider bit of pattern. I then cut out the shape of pendant I wanted.

Here is the complete collection of beads from my second attempt at this technique. The beads on the right were made from laying the centre strand out into strips too, not as striking as the outer strands though.

The Graduated pointy stripes Extruder Technique with Fimo Soft

Here are the discs of clay stacked together that I started with. I didn’t really condition the clay but they were mainly quite soft from the packet. They were rolled through the pasta machine before cutting the discs.

This is what I got out. As you can see it is mainly fairly useable flower cane (well perhaps you can’t see that but you can see that it hasn’t ‘unzipped’ in so many places). Here you have a choice – you can use the bit that hasn’t come apart as the beautiful flower cane ...

As used in these cane end tortoises Or you can unzip the rest with a sharp knife along one of the open sections and you then have the graduated pointy stripes. There is no texture between these stripes due to the softness of the clay. I guess you could leach the clay between some paper to make it firmer and therefore more likely to give you crumbs (or just use Kato clay. No matter how conditioned Kato clay is it still won’t stick together when extruded like this.

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