Making Roulettes

20160218_143447697_iOS20th February 2016 – Today I made some new roulettes as you can never have too many! Roulettes are wheels of impressed pattern which I use on clay slabs to make the skin of my dragons and other textured designs.

The symbols used on the skin of my dragons have a lot of meanings. There are ankhs, runes, I-Ching hexagrams, five-pointed-stars, suns, leaves and fish motifs which are incorporated within abstract designs inspired by Islamic tiles and fabrics, Medieval calligraphy and Celtic decoration.

I use lots of different, very random objects to make the patterns on my roulettes. These include bits of jewellery, buttons, beads, casts of more fragile objects, shells, seeds, fabric, metal braid, copper pipe off-cuts and pen lids.

As the objects are impressed into the roulettes they actually make a raised up, relief pattern on the clay, which is wonderfully textural and often far more interesting that just impressing the objects directly into the clay.

This is how I make roulettes: