How To Make A Shaded Plug

        written by:  Valerie Hollis      Without Frames

 

 

 

Step 1

In order to create a shaded plug, start with a Skinner blend that has been rolled out on the thickest setting of your pasta machine.  (I used a Graduated Skinner Blend in this tutorial.  To learn how to make one of these, please see "How to Make a Graduated Skinner Blend."

 

 

Step 2

Fold the blend into thirds as shown in this picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3

Here is a top-view of the folded blend.

 

 

Step 4

Roll this, light OR dark color first, through the pasta machine on the thickest setting (#1 on an Atlas).  The idea is to create a long, narrow strip that blends from light-to-dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5

It should look like this.

Now, roll this through a medium setting on the pasta machine (#3 on an Atlas) to thin and lengthen it.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6

Now it should look like this.

Roll this through a thin setting on the pasta machine (#5 on an Atlas) to thin and lengthen it further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 7

Now it should be very thin and very long...and should look something like this (I've loosely folded mine in half for the picture).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8

Trim one edge of the strip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 9

Begin folding the strip back-and-forth like an accordion.

 

 

 

 

Step 10

Continue folding back-and-forth.

 

 

 

 

Step 11

Continue folding. . .

 

 

 

 

Step 12

. . . and folding.

 

 

 

 

Step 13

When you have accordion-folded until you've reached the other end of the strip, you may choose to trim off the uneven edge; or, you could just fold it in.

 

 

 

Step 14

Here is a front-view of the stack.

 

 

Step15

Here is a side-view of the stack.

 

 

 

 

Step 1 began with a 2-dimensional sheet of clay.  We have turned that 2-dimensional sheet into a 3-dimensional stack, or "plug."  By reducing, enlarging, dividing, recombining, blending, wrapping, lengthening, narrowing, stretching, compressing, or reshaping (or any sequential or simultaneous combination of these), we can use it in different applications to produce different effects.  It can even be turned back into a sheet, if desired.   Wherever you "plug" this into your design, it will yield a result that is shaded from light-to-dark.

In the following section, I will demonstrate how I reduced, divided, reshaped, and recombined this plug around a bull's eye plug to form a new cane:

 

 

     Making A Cane With Shaded Plugs

 

 

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