A couple of weeks ago I was experimenting with my extruder and discovered a fun type cane that has a sort of yin yang pattern. I then discovered that Sandy (Simple Inspirations) and Cara Hayman of Surfingcat were experimenting with something very similar around the same time. I wonder if it was a full moon that week or what -- I like to think that it was just some great minds thinking a-like.
I redid my experiment and created this black and white pattern and put it in the form of a tutorial.
1. Roll out 2 sheets of clay in contrasting colors on the #2 (second thickest) setting on your pasta machine. Cut each sheet into a 3" x 3" square.
2. Stack one sheet on top of the other and cut in half.
3. Stack the 2 pieces, cut in half and then stack again. There should be 8 layers.
4. Form the stacked clay into a round log.
5. Roll the log and twist each end several times in opposite directions.
6. If the log becomes too thin, manipulate and roll the log with your hands bringing them closer together so the log is about the same thickness that will fit into your extruder. Trim each of the ends and cut your log in half.
7. Insert one of the halves into your extruder with the small square die.
8. Extrude the entire amount of clay.
9. Trim each of the ends until you get a nice pattern inside.
10. Use these individually as a small cane or cut into sections and stack to create a larger cane.
11. Here I sliced my stacked cane to create a veneer sheet.
12. And here are some fun pieces ready to bake.
You can also check out some extruder tips that I shared on the Polymer Clay Smooshers Blog last week.