Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fun with Fimo

Materials and Tools:   Fimo (other brands available), Craft Knife, Pasta machine, Cookie cutters

Fimo needs to be conditioned to allow it to be worked into whatever is being created. Conditioned clay is soft and can be manipulated without it cracking. This is achieved by rolling and kneading the clay making it warm and soft.  This process can be done by hand or helped along using a pasta machine (on the widest setting). 
For the next stages the conditioned clay should be in one of three forms. Rolled in a ball, rolled out into a sausage shape or rolled to an even thickness (using pasta machine is ideal or alternatively can be rolled by hand and spacers at each side of the clay will ensure an even thickness).

Making canes
Once conditioned the clay can be built up into canes. A cane is a stick of clay which contains a pattern depending on how different colours have been assembled. 

bullseye - Think of a bullseye at the centre of a dart board. It consists of a solid colour surrounded by a ring of another colour.
Roll one colour into a sausage shape. Take a flat sheet of clay in an alternate colour and wrap it once around the sausage. This should be a single layer, the seams should meet with no overlapping. Can add more layers to suit (an additional layer is a good start). 

swissroll - Lay one flat piece of clay on top of the other. Trim so that both pieces are the same size. Starting at one end Roll the two pieces together. At the end trim at an angle so that the outer colour is complete. The view from the end of the cane should be a two colour swirl. 

stripes - Lay one flat pieces of clay on top of one another.Trim to make all layers the same size. 

The canes can be sliced thickly to make individual beads, or thinly to be impressed into base pieces to make beads or pendants.

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