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andros

Clay Canes reduction

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Hello everyone

I've read some topics in this forum about nerikomi "canes", but are all pretty oldish, so I wonder if somebody recently has found a useful method to heavily reduce colored clay canes without distorting the cross section pattern... I've done some experiment with nerikomi with dignitous results, but this is something that I still fail to get... should I resign myself to the fact that it is impossible?

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I have been trying for years and years ... it is almost possible to reduce canes without distortion. The polymer clay people can do this easily, but not earthen clays.

Very simple patterns like stripes and checks can work if you follow the polymer clay method and go super slowly but more complicated patterns will distort from end to end. Sometimes this makes for a more interesting result but many times it just makes a mess.

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I use an extruder for the more precisely patterned clay.  It is not with out a learning and equipment curve. The closer that the barrel fits the the less of some types of distortion.  The ends of the extrusion will favor the center (start)or the outside (end) of the pattern.  

For landscape patterns I toss 25 to 50 pound stacks of clay until it is 2- 4 times longer. The first couple pounds favor the outside, especially if the inner layers are a bit stiffer.

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Chris Campbell said:

I have been trying for years and years ... it is almost possible to reduce canes without distortion. The polymer clay people can do this easily, but not earthen clays.

Very simple patterns like stripes and checks can work if you follow the polymer clay method and go super slowly but more complicated patterns will distort from end to end. Sometimes this makes for a more interesting result but many times it just makes a mess.

This was my fear... what a shame! :P 

Anyway... I'm used to do very small canes (compared with those needed to obtain plates and pots with one slice) and stack them together to make a big block, so it's not feasible to use an extruder... One way to obtain decent  small canes (I start with a cane couple inches in diameter maximum to finish with a cane half inch in diameter) is to have a square pattern instead of circular...  I start rolling them but as soon as I can I slowly "squeeze" them with thumb and forefinger of one hand in a sense and thumb and forefinger of the other hand at 90° to form a square... very simple but difficould to explain in words! In this way I manage to preserve fairly well the original pattern...

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That shape tessellates. Multiple extrusions fit together and can be assembled to a block bigger than the barrel. Excess trimmed off to make an even surface. The "filler" for the outer course can be a solid color.   I think I had to shape/reduce the block to 5"X5" by tossing, as it was about 9". Then extruded to a 3"cylinder. A hexagon would  work  to create a block with multiples of this cane.   

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5 hours ago, Bryan Johnson said:

I go from a 5" square (rectangular prism), to a 3" circle (cylinder), to an 1 1/2 "earring or pendant. Tessellations do not need to be limited to squares.

IMG_1521.JPG

Admirable, truly admirable ... Should I guess you have a pretty large extruder? This is something that I still miss ..

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https://www.baileypottery.com/Bailey-Pottery/Product-Details/ SYSTEM-3-POWER-DRIVE-FRAME-W-OUT-BARREL-M5006

with a couple additional home made barrels, a square 6" OD and a round approximately 4" OD.

I could use more power for some dies.

The die in the picture I drew on a computer and had cut with a water jet. 

 

 

Edited by Bryan Johnson

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12 hours ago, Chris Campbell said:

So does this process only work with shapes that tessellate? Have you had success with free standing forms?

 

I mostly reduce 5X5" or so blocks to earrings or pendants.  There are limits.  What ever you put in will take the shape of the barrel and then the die. 

 

Edited by Bryan Johnson

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I saw many people in this forum that made their own extruder... one day I will make it, for sure,  but now my primary "mechanical" challenge is to build a homemade my pottery wheel! :D (even if I don't know if it's actually feasible nor would be practical to use...)

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