Having been somewhat obsessed with rolling my image mapped bits of clay round tube beads, I decided to change focus for a bit and try using the flat images as just that, flat images. As the designs suggest tiles, and were initially created to echo tile designs in the real world I made what you might call tile beads with them.
I used a technique that Claire Maunsell shared a while back, for making hollow beads using cutters of different sizes, to construct a few square, hollow, double sided tile beads.
Basically, you transfer a couple of images using the water and index finger attrition method described in my previous post, making sure the image is slightly smaller than the larger of your two cutters.Then you cut out a couple of blank squares the same thickness as your image trans squares. Then, taking the smaller cutter, chop out the middle of the two (or more if you want a thicker bead) blank squares. Make sure your image squares are dry and not going to smudge ( I put a coat of Klear floor polish on them ) put the first one face down on your work surface, stack the two blank squares with the centres chopped out on top and finish off with the second image square face up. Gently push together without squashing or distorting.
Make a hole about 3/4 of the way up what will be the vertical side of your bead when strung, on both sides in order to allow string/thong to be threaded through, poke a barbq skewer or suchlike mandrel through the holes to suspend the bead on whatever kind of rack you use when baking, then bake. . .
Being me I had to mess around with them after baking. I painted the sides with alcohol ink and then gently sanded the top and bottom where the ink had encroached onto those surfaces. As they had been varnished and fired the sanding didn't erode the images as long as I was careful, but did take away some of the ink, giving a nice, faux ancient effect.
I'm really pleased with how they turned out and am going to mess around some more with this technique, when I get some time. . .
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