Tutorial by Robin Milne

Published June 25, 2007



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Colorful Scrap Clay
Black Clay
Cutting Blade
Pasta Machine
Work Surface


Step 1

Take handful of colorful scrap clay (use greens, oranges and browns to make a leaf).

Step 2

Roll into log to condition.

Twist log to distribute colors, but not too much. You don’t want the colors to mix.

Step 3

Form back into log, cover in black sheet rolled out on thickest setting.

Step 4

Roll to reduce log to long 1/2 inch diameter snake.

Step 5

Run long thin snake through pasta machine on thickest setting. (place against side of pasta machine to keep it from going crooked).

Step 6

Cut into 2 inch pieces.

Step 7

Place first piece down on tile; make it stick.

Step 8

Place second piece down just to the right of first piece against tile and against the side of first piece, then bend second to overlap the first. Gently press them together.

Add third piece to the right of second piece, touching the side of second piece with the edge against the tile. Bend it over to hug the previous pieces.

Keep adding pieces in this way until you run out.

Press the pieces together.

Step 9

Cut down center, so that you are cutting each of the pieces you placed on the tile in half. This will be the center of your feather/leaf.

Step 10

Pick them up and say “oooh…beautiful”

Step 11

Next you will make the center vein, it will be placed between the two halves of feather/leaf you created, so it needs to be about 1 1/2 inches by 1 inch. Pick a color for your center vein, something lighter that will stand out and coordinate/compliment with the scrap colors in your leaf/feather.

Take a medium thick (#3 or #4) sheet of black clay and sandwich the color (rolled on #3) in the black clay leaving extra black clay on top and bottom.

Step 12

The vein of a leaf or feather tapers and gets thinner as it goes up. So place this sandwich on your tile and press your vein's top to thin it. Now place it at the bottom of one half of your feather/leaf and position the other half on top.

Gently press your leaf/feather cane together.

Variations/Final Thoughts

Cut a clean slice and admire your new feather/leaf. It can be reduced carefully but will lose some of the detail of the outside edges.

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