I love the randomness and surprise factor of Natasha beads, but I’m not so keen on the square shape. I have discovered that it is possible to join up the corners of the Natasha bead to give all-over mirrored goodness.
Chop up scrap clay.
Squish the scrap clay into a cube. It does not need to be perfect - you will be turning this inside out in the next steps. It is a good idea to let the clay rest and cool at this point so that you get clean cuts.
Cut the cube in half and open outwards.
Bisect each half and open it outwards so you have four pieces. The green dots indicate the original outer corners.
Join the middle two pieces. They should already be facing you correctly.
Rotate the two pieces you have just joined, and you should see a match for one of the outer pieces on your board.
Add the last piece. Your cube is now inside out. Try to keep the outer edges flush so that your mirrored images join up well.
Gently press the edges together at the top of the cube. Rotate and squeeze the other edges.
The idea is to bring the corners together at the top of the cube and invert the ugly join. If necessary press the centre inwards with a ball stylus or the point of a knitting needle.
Repeat the edge squeezing on the other side of the cube.
Continue until the corners of the cube are nearly joined.
Now start to press in the ridges formed by the sides of the cube.
Rotate and repeat. Keep checking that the patterns either side of the seams are joining up well.
If your pattern is not aligning correctly you should be able to gently prize the seam apart with a needle tool and realign.
Now round off the remaining side edges of the cube. I like to start near the poles and squeeze diagonally across my bead, rotate and repeat working in towards the equator.
Blend any remaining seams using a knitting needle.
Depending on how accurately you cut, the resulting poles of the bead may not be directly opposite each other, so the bead hole may not be centred in the pattern on both sides. Choose which side has a more defined central point and start drilling there.
Form the bead hole by gently rotating the bead onto your needle tool.
Stop as your needle is about to emerge on the other side.
Take the bead off the needle tool, and drill from the other side to complete the hole.
Let the bead rest and cool before rolling it gently on your work surface to ensure it is nice and round.
Now you can bake and finish your bead as you choose.
Finished chopped scrap Natasha bead
This is the finished chopped scrap Natasha bead, but there are many more interesting variations which I intend to post.
Wood grain Natasha bead
Stroppel cane Natasha bead
Ball of string Natasha bead