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Making Retro Beads

This is the first in a series of tutorials that explains in picture form how to make certain Polymer Clay items. There will be brief descriptions too... and questions and comments are always welcomed. The tutorials are my own and have not knowingly been copied from anyone else.

You will need the following: 1/6th of a block of 5 colours... choose colours that 'go' together. Round cutter about 1cm across. Blade. Extruder (Makins Clay). Pasta Machine or Rolling Pin. Tile to work on

1. Flatten the clay and cut out circles

Flatten all the clay and cut out the circles

2. Cut out about 12 circles of each colour

Cut about 12 of each approximately

3. Stack the circles on top of each other to make a tube

4. Make sure the tube is the same length as the extruder and the same diameter as the barrel.

Make sure it is the same length as the extruder

5. Place the tube in the barrel.

Place the tube in the barrel of the extruder

6. Place the disc with the large hole in the and of the barrel.

Put the disc in the end with the large hole

7. Start turning the handle.

Start to twist the handle and this forces the c

8. This then forces the clay out of the hole and makes a long 'snake like' tube.

Keep going until all the clay is out
You will end up with this snake of clay

9. Cut the tube of clay into small pieces about 2 inches long

Cut the tube into 1" pieces. You will see that the pattern is different with each cut you make.

10. Put the tubes on top of each other.. doesn't matter how many.

Lay the tubes on top of each other ... how many doesn't really matter.

11. Take several very thin slices of this pattern and place onto your work surface. Place them next to each other and use a rolling pin to join them together. This is now the veneer you will use to make your beads or flat sheet.

12. Make a tube of clay, and wrap the sheet around the tube. Cut off the excess. Smooth with your fingers where the pieces join. Roll the tube gently so that the veneer sticks to the tube and you have no air bubbles or gaps.

13. Cut the tube into pieces. Making sure that they are the same size.. there's nothing worse than having a pair of ear rings where the beads are different sizes!!

14. If you want to make a pendant. Lay the veneer onto a flat sheet of clay and cut out the desired shape. You can use a cutter or just cut with your blade. The beads for the ear rings now need a head pin pushing through the centre of the bead.

15. Here are the finished pendant and ear rings.

16. Another colour... which I love!!

17. Another way of making ear rings!!

18. Why not have a go... go on, you know you want to!!

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