Digital Beading Magazine Issue 12 - Page 106

How to Condition with a Pasta Machine These colourful pieces were created by long time customer and student of The Whimsical Bead, Jenny Church. Jenny loves to play with inks, paints and colour which shows in her beautiful “experiments” - they are fabulous Note: Always condition your clay on the thickest setting of your pasta machine so you do not put too much pressure on the rollers. Cut your 57g pack of clay into four slices (with each slice being around twice the thickness of the thickest setting on the pasta mach ine. Feed each piece through the rollers, then place two thicknesses together and roll through till you have one sheet. Fold this sheet in half and fold first roll through. Repeat this about 10 times. This method sounds complicated, but it’s actually very easy. The important thing to remember is never force clay through the pasta machine. It needs to be flat enough to go through easily – you do not want to put too much pressure on the rollers or your machine will break. Hand conditioning The warmth from your hands will start to soften the clay up and make it pliable. Roll the clay between your palms to form a log/snake and then roll back into a ball. The friction of this technique combined with the warmth of your hands will speed up the conditioning process. Conditioning large amounts of clay can be hard on the hands. You can break/cut your clay into smaller pieces as these will be easier to work with rather than large blocks. You can also use an acrylic roller to continue the conditioning process. Roll out your clay to approx the second thickest setting on your pasta machine. If you’re rolling it by hand don’t worry too much about the thickness – it is not crucial to the design. As long as the clay isn’t thicker than the depth of the bezel settings you are using, it will be fine! 2 Step 2 The Silkscreen Kit comes with 4 different silkscreens, gold and silver paint and a scraper (Photo 2). Choose which silkscreen you would like to use – Dani’s favourites are the ones with all the different patterned circles! Lay the silkscreen down onto the clay. Run your hands/fingers gently over the silkscreen to lightly adhere the silkscreen to the clay. Squeeze a little paint over the silkscreen design. Step 3 Take the scraper and, with medium pressure, spread the paint over the silkscreen patterns. Use long strokes and start from the top of the first pattern and pull the scraper down in one long motion to the bottom of the silkscreen (Photo 3- next page). Continue with these strokes until all the patterns within the silkscreen are covered.