Flattening Tools

The Makin's Professional Ultimate Clay Machine (1) is similar to a hand-crank past a machine, although this one is created specifically for polymer clay with 7-inch (1 8cm) long, non-stick rollers and 9 different thickness settings. There are other brands of pasta machines available with 6-inch (15cm) long metal rollers, with 7 settings, which can be substituted. These are used to create smooth, even sheets of clay and are a necessary tool to form graduated eolor blends. Besides my hands, my pasta machine is my most frequently used tool. Its ability to evenly flatten and 'stretch' the clay in a sense makes it invaluable. I also use it to initially conditioning the clay, making this task much easier and faster. This conditioning process can be sped up, by attaching a Makin's Professional Ultimate Clay Machine Motor, which replaces the handle. This motor is useful as it helps prevent strain on your hand and arm muscles.

When flattening the clay in the pasta machine, always begin with the thickest setting, and work your way through each consecutive setting until you reach the desired thickness. In other words, if your thickest setting is no. 1, and a project calls for a sheet that is rolled at the fourth thickest ieriing, run the sheet though at no. 1, no. 2, no. 3 and then no. 4. I have removed the front and back plates from my pasta machine, as they really are not -necessary. Please note that some pasta machines zre manufactured with the highest number as the titckest setting.

Instead of a pasta machine, you can also .35 an acrylic rolling rod (2) to flatten the pay Even with my pasta machine, I use a reller to take out imperfections or to start a "^-rening process slowly, such as when I am fetching" chalk pods onto a clay base.

A clay-dedicated food processor can also fce useful in breaking up extra-firm pieces of --a. before rolling (not pictured).

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