Today I am starting off my post with some pictures of beads I have made recently with my Clay Extruder. Above is a picture of some bisqued beads. And below is some of the same beads after they were glazed. The clay body is stoneware and they were bisqued at Cone 06 and Glaze fired at Cone 5.
The butterfly is the only bead in the pic that was not made with the extruder.
I made the flower shaped bead with the die above. I extruded the tube and then sliced it into pieces with a single edged blade.
Here is the die I used for the hex nut style bead. I used the orange juice straw to make the holes. I also sliced these off the extruded tube of clay with the single edged blade ( a polymer clay tool.)
And this half moon style bead was made with the half circle die.
On the Ceramics Arts Daily website they have a free downloadable publication about using clay extruders. Of course they are not talking about beads, but I found a very interesting piece of information that I am going to pass along to you today.
It is about how you can use an old credit card or other plastic card to make your own dies for your extruder. My example is with a Borders Rewards Card.
I used a metal die to draw a template
Cut it out and adjust the size to fit the lug bolt
Then I used my metal punching tool to make a hole the size I wanted. I wanted one in between the size of the two metal dies I already have. It was a bit difficult to position the hole in the middle of the card. Luckily plastic cuts a lot easier than metal and I could do it.
Then I loaded the barrel with some white porcelain clay and cranked out a nice tube of clay.
Once I made the logs, I stored them in a plastic freezer bag since cleanup of the extruder is a very messy job. Probably why this isn't the most popular tool for beaders. Once I did the clean it up, I put light olive oil on all of the parts, especially the lug bolt and the tube where the clay is extruded. Also on the handle. Before I figured this out it was so very hard to get the clay to extrude. Now it is like squeezing soft butter through the tube.
In two weeks, I would love to feature any beads that you have made with a clay extruder. I would love to feature a bead shape you have created using the plastic card idea, or any other die you have used. Just email me a picture and I will be sure to post it. Please try to get pics to me by April 25. My email address is hardingjewelryatgmaildotcom
I look forward to hearing from you and featuring your work here in two weeks.