, , , ,

This is another variation on the round Natasha bead. Again as the bead gets turned inside out, this is all about making an interesting middle. This method uses an extruded string, but I am sure it will work equally well with a bullseye cane reduced so that it is long and thin. I’d also like to try this method with a jellyroll cane (send me your results if you try it!)

Tangerine Ocelot Beads
Tangerine Ocelot Beads by Cate van Alphen

First a note about what to expect when extruding clay.

Cross section of extruded cane

Cross section of extruded cane

This diagram illustrates what happens when a stack of different coloured disks are extruded: each colour forms a layer around the whole snake so the end of the snake will have concentric circles made from all the colours. This is why the whole extruded string has the first colour that comes out of the extruder (i.e. the bottom of the stack when loading the extruder). If you have a large stack, the outer circles at the end of the snake will be really thin and the colours will blend together.

Extrude clay

Start by extruding a string of clay. I like to extrude separate strings for each bead so that I can control the bead size and also so that the circles of the cross section at the end do not become too thin.

Roll extruded string into a ball

Roll your extruded string into a ball. I start with the last piece of clay to come out of the extruder as this will have more layers of colour.

Roll up the whole string

Roll up the whole string of clay. Be sure to change the direction often as this will be more interesting when you cut it open to make the Natasha bead.

Squish the ball into a cube

Squish the wound ball into a cube.

Cube of clay

Now that your clay is in a nice cube, proceed with the steps to make a round Natasha bead.

(See my previous post about how to make a round Natasha bead.)

Inside out cube

Cube has been turned inside out using the Natasha bead method.

Round Natasha bead

Natasha bead has now been rounded off.

Now you can pierce the bead, bake and finish it as you choose. I sanded and polished mine to a high shine. Incidentally the finished beads have been posted to my Zibbet shop where there are more pictures.