This is my variation of Page McNall’s air-filled bead tutorial (I use a slightly different method for getting a dome and attaching to backing clay).
**Edit: I have now made a modified version of this tutorial which I think is easier.**
Finished doughnut pendant
You can use any surface decoration you like, for this tutorial I have put slices of a bulls eye cane (made with metal foil, and layers of transparent and brown clay) cut on a diagonal. I have also made one using a sheet of green mokume gane.
Decorate a sheet of clay and cut out a circle slightly larger than you want your finished pendant. This clay is rolled on the thickest setting of my pasta machine (3mm), and the circle is 5.8cm in diameter.
Put the disk of clay (pattern side down) on the non cutting side of a pastry cutter. This cutter is 5cm in diameter.
Gently push the centre of the disk down, so that the edges are drawn in (and become the the same size as the cutter). Make sure that the patterned side of the clay does not go below the lip of the cutter
Prepare you clay for the back of the pendant. This is also rolled on the thickest setting (3mm) and I have added a slight texture, but you could add cane slices or even use plain clay.
Put your backing clay (pattern side down) directly onto a surface you can bake (I am using a tile). Lay the clay down carefully, working from one side to the other so that you don’t trap any air bubbles.
Place your domed clay onto the backing.
Press down HARD. I use my roller because the sharp side of the cutter is now pointing upwards. Make sure you get a good join between the front and the backing clay. It helps to twist and lift the cutter when you remove it at the end.
Roll the edges of the dome towards the centre – you want a smooth slope to the edge rather than a cliff.
Now use your cutter to cut off both the edge of the dome and the excess backing sheet. Smooth around the edges and make sure the clay is joined along the whole circumference.
The rest of this tutorial is pretty much the same as Page’s, although she has a bit more detail regarding smoothing the edges etc.
Decide where you doughnut hole will be, and make a small cut opposite to allow air to escape when you cut it out.
SLOWLY press down the cutter to make the doughnut hole. You can now smooth the air vent hole you made in the previous step.
Smooth the edges of the inner hole.
Now bake and finish you clay as usual. For me this meant a lot of sanding on the front (still haven’t really done enough) but none on the back – remember the cunning texturing step before placing on the baking tile?
Finished back of pendant