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Making Tube Beads of Various Sizes
Tools:
  • Pasta Machine
  • Work Surface
  • Needle Tool
  • 1 Dowel (10-12 inches in length.) Diameters   inch, 3/8 inch, inch, inch, or 1 inch. (Note: Dowels can be found at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, Lowes, etc., cut in thirds)
  • Ruler
  • Set of Kemper Circle Punches or other small round circle cutters
  • Needle Tool
  • Tissue Blade
  • Buffing machine or soft cloth
  • Acrylic Roller or brayer
  • Stiff paintbrush
  • Toothbrush
  • Small knitting needle
Supplies:
  • 1 block of conditioned Polymer clay (Brand and color your choice)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Acrylic paint
  • Rubber stamps or other textures
  • Wet/Dry Sandpaper 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000 grits
  • Sobo glue
  • Water
  • TLS
  • Baking dish
  • Heavy paper (to make template)
  • Paper towel
Click Pictures for a Larger View
Step 1: Wrap your dowel with small strip of aluminum foil. Set aside. Optional: Run a thin bead of glue along edge of foil and smooth, wiping away any excess glue that has oozed out.
Step 2: Run conditioned clay through pasta machine. The thickness of your clay will vary according to dowel size. The settings used in this lesson are for an Atlas pasta machine. See table below. (Note: clay thickness and width in the following table is suggested, you can vary either one to fit your needs)

Dowel Diameter
1/4 to 3/8 inch
1/2 to 3/4 inch
1 inch
Clay Thickness
#3 or 4
#2 or 3
#1 or 2
Width of Clay
1/2 to 1 inch
3/4 to 1 1/2 inches
1 1/4 to 2 inches
Step 3: Dampen clay with water to act as a release agent and place on top of a stamp or texture sheet. With your acrylic rod, roll over your clay sheet in one direction and then the opposite direction.
Step 4: Place your sheet of clay on your work surface. Using your ruler, cut the width for the size dowel you are using. To determine the length you need, cut a strip of clay that looks long enough, then wrap the strip around dowel until the strip meets, cut the strip, following the mark left where the clay meets. (Note: Length is dependent on the thickness of the foil you've used and how many times you wrapped the dowel with foil) If you are planning on making more than one bead of this size, you can make a paper template to match the piece you just cut.
Step 5: Wrap your clay strip around the foiled covered dowel, press and smooth gently to join the seam.
Step 6: Rest dowel on the edge of your baking dish and bake per manufacturer's directions for the brand of clay your are using.
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