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Here's a terrific lesson from Barbara Fajardo that will have you making Pillowbeads before you know it!

Step 1: Begin by taking two slices approximately 1/4" from your cane. Roll a ball of scrap clay about 1/2 the diameter of your cane slice.
Step 2: Shape your scrap clay into a rough pillow shape. Lay the piece onto one of your cane slices to see if your shape is the right size and shape.
Step 3: Continue shaping your pillow by using your fingers to bevel the sides and pinch the corners.
Step 4: Again, lay the piece onto one of the cane slices and tweak a bit more if needed.
Step 5: Shave off any uneven areas so that cane slices are the same depth across the area of the slice.
Step 6: Lay your pillow shape onto one of the cane slices and gently press in to remove any trapped air bubbles. Make sure each corner of the scrap comes to each corner of the cane slice.
Step 7: Apply the other cane slice to the opposite side, making sure the patterns on the corners and sides line up. If needed, you might want to use a needle tool to press in the scrap if you find it a little too fat. This also brings your cane slices closer together.
Step 8: Now, the same way you used your fingers to bevel the sides and corners in step 3, begin to carefully pinch the cane slices towards each other, starting with the corners.
Step 9: Continue to bring the cane slices closer by carefully pinching together at the mid point of each side.
Step 10: Finish bringing all the edges together.
Step 11: Use a sharp blade to carefully trim for a cleaner edge.
Step 12: Use a smoothing tool to meld and smooth the edges together.
Step 13: Roll your smoothing tool from the corners up to the center of the pillow and gently back and forth over all areas.
Step 14: Pierce with needle tool where desired, and cure.
These take a little practice to get the shape just right, so have fun!

Barbara Fajardo
©2008 Text and Photos

We want to thank Barbara 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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