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I am sure there are many ways to create a bargello pattern with your clay. These are two of the ways I do it. One is making a cane and the other is making a sheet to use as a veneer.
Click Pictures for a Larger View
  • 3-4 (or more) contrasting colors to create skinner blends from out of clay of choice. (I decided to try fimo soft for the first time)
  • ruler
  • Pasta machine
  • Straight blade
  • Brayer
  • Scapel or craft knife
Step 1: Create two to three different skinner blends that compliment each other. If you do not know how to make a skinner blend click here.
(you can use a 2-3 color blend if you wish)
Step 2: Once your skinner blend is done, fold it in half, like color to like color
Step 3: Then run it through your pasta machine on the thickest setting.
Step 4: You should then have a long stretched out thin skinner blend. If you want your blend to be less defined you can run it through the pasta machine on the middle thickness. I usually want to have "lines" when I make my bargello.
Step 5: Fan-fold your skinner blend in 1" or 2" folds. Make sure you brayer out any air bubble between layers.
Step 6: You will then have a blended rectangle
Step 7: Another way you can make your stack is to cut it in 1" or 2" pieces and then stack them one on top of the other in order, as shown in this picture (using my contrasting color).
Step 8: Here is the stack using the "cut" method.
Step 9: Slice your stack in slices approximately 3mm thick, or the thickness of each "color" step in the blend.
Step 10: Take the slices you just cut and line them back up, but offsetting the gradient as shown in the picture. You can offset them in any pattern you wish. This one is an arrowhead type pattern.
Step 11: For this tutorial, I chose to make this a two blend bargello cane. As you can see, I did the same to a purple blend, then inserted it into the bottom of the green blend. Then I made the bottom smooth.
Step 12: I took the part I removed from the purple blend and moved it to the top of the green blend, allowing for the whole cane to be squared when reducing.
Step 13: Begin reducing...
Step 14: Here is a slice of the finished, reduced cane sitting on a tissue blade.
Step 15: Here are some finished pieces using the Bargello Cane. You can see how varying and rearranging the patterns can produce exciting results! I hope this tutorial has been helpful for you. If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

Kathi Gose
2006 Text and Photos

We want to thank Kathi for sharing this excellent tutorial with Polymer Clay Central. If you have a lesson or tutorial, or something you would like to share with PCC, please email Leigh or Stephen and we will help you prepare your project for the PCC Website!

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