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Premo White (#5001) aprox: 4 packs
Premo Pearl (#5101) aprox. 1 2oz package
Premo Cadmium Red (#5382) aprox. 2 packs
Premo Cobalt Blue (#5063) aprox 2 packs
FimoSoft Transparent (#14) aprox. 2 packs
Tissue blade or straight razor or craft knife
Pasta Machine or rolling pin (I used an Atlas pasta machine with the settings going from #1, the thickest to #9, the thinnest)

First, condition your clay until it's warm and pliable. Then, after the colors are mixed, be sure to leech the blue considerably because it is much softer than the other clays - it'll smoosh and distort right out if it's not of the same consistency as the red and the white. Roll it flat to a #1 (Atlas) setting and put it between two sheets of regular typing paper. I like to tuck that underneath the phone book, or my work surface, for added leeching power. Leave it at least overnight before testing it's condition

Step 1: The Stripes

Mix the red with the the transparent in a 4:1 ratio. (Four parts red to 1 part transparent). Then roll it out to a #1 thickness (roughly 1/8th").

Cut 7 rectangles 3 1/2" x 1 1/4". Set aside until later.

The white: Mix the half the white with transparent and pearl in a 4:1:1 ratio then roll it out to the #1 setting. Cut 6 of the same size rectangles as you did the red. Set aside for later.
(Picture shows 1 red and several white rectangles)
Step 2: The Stars

Mix the white with the pearl and the transparent in an aproximate 4:1:1 ratio, although it is my opinion that you can never use too much pearl. The slight sparkle the pearl gives it is nice.

Roll the clay into a log 12" long and about 3/4" in diameter. Cut in 6 equal lengths. Put one log to one side to be the center. For the points of the star, form each of the five logs into a triangle. Pinch a ridge into the top of the log, while pressing down to flatten the bottom. Turn and do the same until you have a nice triangle. Trim it to the same length as the center log.

Arrange the 5 triangles around the center log to make a star shape. Press into place and smooth seams.

Carefully pack the blue around the white star. Start with small triangles of blue pressed deeply into the corners to prevent distortion. Use a straight edge or knitting needle, or other tools, to pack the blue in completely. Go slow and check for air pockets. Pack the blue around the star until you have completely covered it and have a square cane.

Let the cane cool and reach an even temperature. Then reduce the cane until it is 1" across and 12" long (not counting the distorted ends).

Tip for reducing: When reducing and the cane starts to suck in in the center, I close up the edges around it. This may or may not cut down on the distortion, but seems to help keep it stable and stop the sucking in problem. Then just trim off the distorted ends to have a usable cane.

Cut into 4 equal lengths. Before assembling the 4 sqare canes into a large square, run a small thin worm of blue in the center where the four canes will meet. This helps fill in the join, reducing the chance of distortion.

Put the four stars together into a square. Compress into a solid cane. Wrap the new cane in a #3 thick blue sheet. Reduce so that you have 12" of usable cane. Trim distorted ends. Cut into 6 equal pieces (at least 2" long)

Assemble the pieces 3 across and 2 high. Wrap that new cane with a #4 sheet of blue. You don't want to risk losing the blue during reduction.

Reduce the 24-star cane until it's stretched roughly 2 times the depth of your Stripe rectangle. Here the stripes rectangles are 1 1/4" deep, so the cane had to be 2 1/2" of undistorted cane. The cane is 1" across. Slice the cane in half and put the pieces side by side for your star field. Yes, I know it's only 48 stars<G<!

Step 3: Assembling the Flag

Begin to stack the Stripes rectangles with a red slab on the bottom. Then add a white. Do this until you have 7 slabs stacked up and lined up. Now add the 48-star blue cane in the left corner flush with the left edge of the stripes. Lay the next stripe against the right side of the blue field. It will overhang the lower stack, but we will trim it up when we are done.

Finish layering the stripes until all 13 are placed. The top should also be a red stripe. Turn the cane upside down and trim off the overhang from the top stripes.

Even out the sides so that you get a trim rectangle 3" long (if you feel the stripes section should be longer, you can trim it to fit - it depends on how you like the proportions to look) and 1 1/4" high. You can now reduce it to any size you need.

Laure (Dawndove) Estep
©2001 Text & Photos

We would like to thank Laure for this great Lesson and for sharing it with PCC! If you have a lesson or tutorial that you would like to share with your friends at PCC, just email or and we will help you prepare your project for the PCC Website!

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