Welcome Bargello Swappers! :-)
This isn't how Laura Liska starts her lovely precision bargello, but it's one way to start, anyway.... fairly straightforward and simple. There are endless variations on this, and I'm only showing a couple.

I hope this helps someone get the idea of how to start... beginning with different ways to lay out a blend to achieve different saturation of color in the gradations... these lean to low key by adding black, but you could also add the complement of these colors and get a more subtle effect.

The green arrows indicate where you would cut the sheet of blended clay apart to get four shades of the same color. You can cut the blend when it's still in "triangles," to save time, or blend it partially and then cut it. Mush each section up separately and mix each one until the color is homogenous. You don't have to go with four, as I show here... you could do three... or eight... whatever you want.....

Roll out each section into a sheet and stack them up.

Trim into a rectangle, then cut the rectangle in half and stack one half on top of the other.

Cut and recombine just as you would a checkerboard cane, except that you aren't building sideways, only vertically.

Neaten up the front and sides of your stack, and cut a slab from the face.

Lay the slab down and begin to take small slivers off of the edge.

Here, the slivers are arranged in a "flame/wave" sort of pattern, with no space between them.

Here's a similar "flame" but there is space between the slivers to allow the background color to show through.

This shows the possibilities of that same "flame," but with different widths of the slivers.

You can cut shapes out of a sheet of bargello that you create, and apply the shapes as a veneer to base clay, or you can apply the strips directly to the item. You can bake the strips and then embed them in soft clay or "grout." Tons of different ways to go with this... how about transferred bargello? ;-) This is a very time-consuming process, but the results can be spectacular! Take a look at the items sent in for the Bargello Swap!

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Elizabeth Campbell 1999 - 2004