I decided to use pink, black, white and gray today. I already have my pink and gray mixed and ready to use. The black and the white still need to be conditioned to soften it and get all of the particles in the clay evenly distributed. These buttons are going to be striped so I have to use my clay gun.
Each color is pushed through the clay gun to form even sized strands. I use my caulk gun to help with this. It's pretty hard on my fingers trying to push the stiff clay through those tiny holes. Doing it this way I have my strands within seconds! Now I'm ready to start laying them out onto a thin sheet of black clay!
I make sure to get them as straight as possible and then I run this whole sheet through my pasta machine. This makes a nice flat, even sheet. I make it pretty thin, so I take yet another sheet of black clay, about 1 - 2 mm thick and lay the striped sheet on top of it.
both sheets are adhered to each other, I lay it on a ceramic tile and cut out the buttons using a round circle cutter. Using the tile means I don't have to move the buttons and risk making them misshapen. I put holes in the buttons with a needle and put it all in the oven.
I still have some of the striped sheet to use later. Maybe I'll make some striped beads later. And that scrap pile will become the centers of those beads. Nothing will go to waste! Well, after the buttons have baked for about 30 minutes, they are ready to be wet sanded. I like to take this extra step because it makes them feel so smooth. Then I will drill the holes a little bigger. Oh yeah, I still have to polish them too. I do this with a soft piece of denim. It gives them a nice satin shine. And there you have it! The buttons are now ready to use! Now I think I'll go list these in my Etsy shop. Have a great weekend everyone!