African Trade Beads- part 7 continued from part 6

This is a series of African trade bead primary patterns, this is part 7, which is also the continuation from part 6

you can see part 1 here,


you can see part 2 here,


you can see part 3 here,


you can see part 4 here,


you can see part 5 here,


you can see part 6 here,


As always click on pictures to make them larger.

You will need:

Flower canes already made

and the one made in part 3 http://mariesegal.blogspot.com/2011/03/african-trade-beads-part-3.html

Clay Blade- SB

Bamboo Skewer- 2mm

Ruler (if you wish)

Needle Tool- PRO

1/2″ heart cutter-APC1H

5/8″ round cutter-APCAR

Links for products will lead to my Hubby’s store http://www.clayfactory.net/ 


Thank you for shopping at the Clay Factory, not just a clay store anymore.;-D



Cut a 1/4″ slice from the block that you made in part 6.

Press the clay slice gently to your work surface.

Start in the corner of one side, the side you want to start at is up to you.

Cut out a heart with the 1/2″ cutter.

Cut firmly to the work surface and pull back quickly the heart should stay in the sheet but be cut out.

Turn the cutter around and cut the next heart out and pull back quickly.

Cut out the whole sheet of hearts, as many as you can get out of it.

I got 5 out of this sheet.

There are the hearts. A couple stuck in the cutter and I took the cutter and placed the heart on a fresh piece of clay (I used the block I made, it is best to condition a fresh piece of clay and use that instead) and pulled back quickly and it pulled the heart out of the cutter a little.

You can also dip the cutter in water and then cut and it will come free. Do the water dip each time you cut one heart out.

Use the needle tool and drill the needle in to the top of the heart to poke the hole through to the bottom.

When the tip comes out the bottom drill the needle back out.

Turn the heart over and drill the needle in to the bottom hole you made with the needle.


You will need:

A little section of the original cane from part 3

You will need it to be 3/4″ in diameter.

5/8″ cutter

scrap clay from block you made in part 6

Slice off two thin slices.

Roll out your scrap clay on the thickest setting in your pasta machine. Cut out two rounds.

Roll them together into one ball.

Flatten out the slices a little with your thumb and forefinger.

Cover half of the ball with one slice.

Start on one side of the ball and match the other slice to the one you already added.

Pull the slice over to the other side and push it to match the slice that is already there.

Sometimes the slice will not match so I push the scrap clay in with my finger nail and push the edges of the slices together over it.

Once the edges are together, roll the ball gently at first and make it as round as you can.

“Drill” into the bead with the point of the skewer. I hold the bead in my hand.

Rotate the skewer and move in to the bead. 

You will see the bead start to bulge out on the other side, keep drilling until the point goes through barely.

Drill the skewer back out.

Turn the bead over and drill in to the hole on the coming out side, it will even out the hole on that side.

Drill the skewer back out.

Bake on a piece of corrugated cardboard box top and bake the bead sitting on the hole.

If you bake the bead sitting on the hole so that if there is a flat spot from settling while baking it will have another bead there when strung and will not be seen.

The next cane is fun. Coming in part 8!!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Love and huge hugs.

4 Responses to “African Trade Beads- part 7 continued from part 6”

  1. March 31, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Aw, I like the little hearts. This whole series reminds me of when I first fell in love with beading! I was just amazed with the African Trade Beads, you know, how did they do them?!
    Easily Amused,

    • March 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      I was attracted to the trade beads in the 60’s and I did not even bead, I just thought they were pretty.
      Then I started with macrame and they were perfect for that.
      I am easily amused also, lucky for us, eh?

  2. 3 indigosbeads
    March 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    this is really a great tutorial series! i’m just starting out in polymer clay, and this has been most helpful. your pictures and instructions are very clear and you show great examples. i’m going to bookmark this so i can keep coming back to this series!

    • March 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Thank you so very very much.
      I am so grateful for your comment.
      It is very good to start with when you are caning, it is also great for practicing and I am having just as much fun this time as I did 20+ years ago.
      I would love to see your pieces when you are done with them also.
      Good luck and I am here if you have questions.
      Blessings all over you!

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March 2011

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