Rainbow Millefiori Buttons

(Cy^jfillefiori canes be be made into buttons by cutting 3mm (Kin) slices from the patterned cane, pressing them down on the board and making holes. This youthful design looks wonderful on children's dungarees. Alternative colour schemes are shown in the photograph but try designing your own canes and colour variations.


♦ Clay - white, blue, crimson, orange, yellow, green and violet

♦ Razor blade for slicing the canes



• Clay - dark brown, yellow, leaf green and orange

♦ Razor blade for slicing the canes


• Clay - dark brown, yellow, leaf green and orange

♦ Razor blade for slicing the canes

3 Reduce the cane by pressing it down on the board along its iength and then squeezing it back into a square cross-section. After doing this a few times, slice It from the board and hang it vertically in one hand. Stroke your other hand down the length, gently stretching it longer but still keeping the square section. Return it to the board as necessary to square up.

IRoll out a sheet of yellow clay until it is 5mm (M«.in) thick. Trim it to 25 x 40mm (1 x 1!iin). Holding the knife at an angle, cut out three wedges of triangular cross-section. Roll out a sheet of leaf green clay of the same thickness and cut three triangular wedges of the same size. Insert these wedges into the spaces left in the yellow clay.

2 Roll out a sheet of yellow clay to 1.5mm ('/. in) thick, trim it to the same size and press it on top of the green triangles. Now repeat step 1, this time using dark brown and orange clay. Then press this second layer on top of the yellow and green layer.

Turkish Carpet Millefiori Buttons tifs of simple triangles and diamonds are used in many different cultures, from the Middle East to Africa and the Americas. This design was suggested by carpet weaving. All the buttons shown here were made using different colour ways of the same design, and they show how changing the colours can change the design dramatically. The technique used is for square-section millefiori, which is more suitable for geometric patterns because it will distort them less than using round canes.

4 When the cane is about 10mm (Kin) across, trim the distorted ends and cut it in half, placing one half over the other. Cut in half again, turn one half upside down and place it alongside the first. Reduce the cane again until it is 13mm (Kin) thick or the size you require for the buttons.

Roll a 1.5mm (A.in) sheet of dark brown and wrap it around the cane, trimming the edges to fit. Stroke the cane all over to firm the clay together. Cut 3mm (Kin) slices for the buttons, lav them on the board and press with your finger to flatten them. Keep the overall square shape but allow the corners to round slightly. Make holes as described on page 116. Bake for 30 minutes.


The photograph above shows several different colour schemes. The cane can be made with only black and white for the triangular wedges; vou can then wrap the final cane with more than one layer of colour.

MATERIALS ♦ Clay - black, red, golden-yellow and flesh

2 Roll a 6mm (/in) log of red clay and cut 13mm (Kin) lengths. Re-roll each until it is 3cm (lUin) long, with tapered ends, and cut in half to give two arms. Press these on the body. Form a small oval of flesh-coloured clay and cut it in half to give two hand?. Press these on the bottom of the arms. Roll a 10mm (X in) ball of flesh and press it on the body

Soldier Toggles

(Oy^oggles are popular fastenings for children's anoraks and coats because they are easy for small fingers to do up. These bright little soldiers will make that task far more entertaining. It is best to make the soldiers all at the same time in a row so that you can check that they match.

MATERIALS ♦ Clay - black, red, golden-yellow and flesh

IRoll a log of black clay 6mm (Kin) thick and cut as many 13mm (l^in) lengths as you need toggles. Press these on the board for the legs and mark a central line. Roll a 10mm (X in) log of red and cut 20mm (Kin) lengths. Form into ovals 3cm (1/in) long and cut each in half to give two bodies. Press firmly over the tops ^^^^^ 8mm of the legs.

3 Roll a 13mm (Jiin) ball of black clay and form it into an oval, 2.5cm (1 in) long. Cut it in half to make two helmets and flatten them slightly on the board. Trim the top of the head and press on the helmet. Mark lines for fur. Roll a

I thin log of black for a strap and attach under the chin. Press on a small ball of flesh for the nose and indent two eves.

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4 Roll flat a 3mm (Kin) log of yellow and cut slices for trimming, applying three horizontally to tine body, leaving a gap at the waist to mark a thread channel. Cut slices from a 3mm (Kin) log of yellow for buttons and place as above, with one at each end of the thread channel too. Position a slice of yellow on each shoulder for epaulettes.

Form a 6mm (Kin) ball of black into an oval and cut it in half for two feet. Press firmly onto the bottom of the legs, cut edges to the back. Make a hole through the toggle at the each end of the thread channel. Check that everything is firmly pressed on because the toggles will receive heavy wear. Bake for 30 minutes. Sew the toggles on with strong yellow thread so that the trimming is complete.

Double size

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