Friday, November 21, 2008

More clay fabric - extruder style

I usually am not very productive on Thursdays, as it seems I stay up too late to catch Top Chef :D So usually I use the time to work on things that don't take a lot of brain strain. I'm getting a little low on my last batch of clay fabric and I had recently come across this photo of a poisonous cone snail and fell in love with the pattern. I knew I could never reproduce it exactly since things stretch in the pasta machine, but I knew it would be a good extruder project and that I'd get an interesting pattern.
So first I extruded several long strips of pearl white and then covered them in a black sheet done at my thinnest setting. I carefully ran my finger down the gap between the triangle points and then used the brush of my handle to run over it once more. This is much easier than wrapping each little strip.
Then I mixed some gold and pearl white to make some gold extrusions, and some hot red and gold to make the other color.
Then I hand made varying sizes of the white and individually wrapped them in thin black. I had two short strips left over from the other colors, so wrapped them too. Then I popped everything in the freezer to harden up.
This is what everything looked like after I thinly sliced can see I have a lot that I didn't even cut, so I'll be able to make a similar but different pattern later too.
I then rolled out a sheet of pearl white. I did it quite thinly, probably at about setting 5. Then I formed the pattern, piece by piece. I then took a rolling pin and did a couple light passes over it so that there wouldn't be too much smearing over the edges. This is how it looked before going through the pasta machine. 
And this is how it looked after running it through just the first and second thickness and then no more passes.

You can see it didn't smear or stretch too much. The reason is I didn't start with too thick a piece, if the base is thick and then you add another thick later you are going to get tons of smearing. If I could have only run it through once instead of twice it wouldn't have had any smearing at all, but there were too many spaces in the design and that won't wrap as well as if there's only a couple. 

Overall size is about 7 x 5 inches so I'll get a couple things off of this. Even though it wasn't a lot of brain strain and was fun to do, it still took about 4 hours to do this. But I just really love being able to get inspired by a design in nature and then create these one of a kind fabrics for myself.



  1. It really amazes me the textures you can do, and it really looks like cooking!

  2. Thanks, Koldo, I was just looking to see how to cut it for best effect...must remember to not eat :D

  3. Your fabric work always amazes me. You did a great job on this one.

  4. Thanks, Linda! Hoping I don't come down with the flu before I get a chance to try it out, Chopper is down for the count at the moment :(


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