Step 1: Start by making flat sheets of each color, using the thickest setting of the pasta machine. My sheets were each about three by six inches. Cut each sheet approximately into thirds.
Step 2: Set one piece of each color aside. Tapering the inner edges of each color with your fingers, form a striped sheet of clay, overlapping the three colors.
Step 3: The striped sheet should be about the width of your pasta machine rollers. In my sheet, from left to right, the first lavender sheet is tapered on the right side, then overlapped by the tapered edge of the white sheet. The other tapered edge of white is overlapped by the tapered edge of the purple sheet. In the second layer, from left to right, the same lavender/white/purple overlapping pattern is repeated.When tapering, messy is good! It gives some natural variation to your design. Remember: think organic!
Step 4: With all three colors touching the rollers, run this striped sheet through the pasta machine once only. Cut the sheet in four pieces and stack the pieces on top of each other. The edge of your stack of clay should now look like an Ikat** pattern.
Step 5: Compress the sides of the stack to make it narrower and longer.
Step 6: I compressed mine to about one inch wide and eight inches long. Cut this into four equal pieces and stack them.
Step 7: Add more of the medium color (lavender, in my cane) to that colored end of the stack.
Step 8: Now it’s time to shape the stack into a petal shape by rounding the edges and compressing and tapering the darker end. You can trim away some clay from the dark end if you need to. Reduce this tapered cane and cut it lengthwise into four pieces.
Step 9: Combine two of the pieces to form the large bottom petal. Gently compress them together, side by side, then form a depression in the top of the petal. I used the handle of my needle tool.
Step 10: Line this depression with a sheet of yellow, then put a thin snake of light green inside the yellow sheet. This will be the throat of the flower.
Step 11: At this point, line the outer edges of the three petals with a very thin sheet of a contrasting color. I used dark purple. This will delineate the petals of the pansy. Trim a little clay from one side of each side petal before you put it in place. This will make the side petals appear to be behind the bottom petal.
Step 12: To make the back petals, make a Skinner blend of two colors. I used my medium and lightest colors.
Step 13: Roll the blend as shown, forming a plug
Step 14: Shape the plug into a petal shape and reduce it to twice the length of your cane. Line this petal with your contrasting color, then cut it in half. Trim some clay from one side of one petal and add it to your pansy
Step 15: The remaining petal shape is trimmed and cut away to fit beside the first back petal and should appear to be behind it.
Step 16: Fill in the indentations around the pansy with your background color, then wrap your entire cane with a sheet of your background color. Compress and reduce your cane.