Beads like these:
I am pretty sure there is a lot easier way to do oval beads, but the more complicated the process is, the more interesting it is for me :))) And I think my way is very economic, uses mostly scrap clay.
The working area:
A two-layered square of clay. A layer of scrap clay at the bottom, the layer of nice ochre clay on the top. Lots of canes.
Filling area with canes' slices:
If you are interested in the process of filling are with cane slices go to see a slide show :) (I didn't out it in a blog, as it's a bit heavy)
Rolling out a flowery clay sheet:
Now it is smooth, except for the edges of the sheet.
Wrap a knitting needle in scrap clay:
Then wrap it into a slice of a flower sheet, adjust and smooth a joint line:
Cut a cylinder into segments (1.5 cm in my case)
Gently shape segments into ovals. My knitting needle is quite thick, so the hole in a bead will be quite wide, for the thick rope (as the one used on the photo above).
Bake the beads (I made a few pillow beads from flower sheet leftovers)
Here is the result