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Friday, September 4, 2009

"How can I make even strips of clay for weaving a basket?"

Okay the question was asked, "how can I make even strips of clay for weaving a basket?"

One of my answers was that if you had the added attachment that may have come with your pasta machine you could roll the clay out on the pasta machine and then run it through the added fettuccine attachment and get nice even strips of clay all the same width, and thickness. Length depends on how long you roll the clay out. You can make it as wide as your pasta machine and then run it through the attachment.

I had never before used this attachment. When I did though there was a little streaking of rust, but very little. Only warning those of you who might like to try this to run some scrap clay through it a few times to help clean yours up a bit.

Now I did this example/test with polymer clay because I did not want to mix up a batch of ADC just for this. None the less it worked amazingly well and I believe it would work for most other clays you would put through your pasta machine that at least had a nice dough consistency. Now I did not use talc or cornstarch or anything, just put it through the machine after a bit of conditioning and a few passes to make a flat sheet of clay through the pasta machine. If you have a clay that feels a bit sticky or tacky you may wish to give it a generous coating of talc or corn starch before running it through to ensure it does not get stuck in the slits of the attachment. It appears that there is not real way to clean it out if it should.

I then took the strips of clay and weaved them into the basket weave. Up, under, Up, Under, etc.. and then I cut it out using my large square cookie cutter as shown the collage above. It was a quick few passes with the clay to make the flat sheet and some of the strips of clay I used were not really straight so I decided to draw some lines on it with my needle tool and I think it looks pretty neat. Would make a nice piece as earrings, a ring, pendant, background for a cabochon, etc.. So may things I can see myself covering with these. There is an even smaller attachment on the other side of the fettuccine cutter side I need to try to see what it will cut. Have to wait till I have a bit more time on my hands. Still am late on my August baby challenge baby.

Other methods suggested was to use a paper guillotine, a clay gun with the ribbon disc or just measure, mark and cut with a straight edged tool of some kind.

Cre8ively Yours
Andrea "Cre8"

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