Because I need a pattern of consistent thickness, and because I use only moderate amounts of any one pattern, I like to work in flat sheets of clay instead of using canes. I have more control over the end product when I work in actual size...no reducing of the clay is necessary using this method...and there's no waste.
I took the diameter of the bowl (17") and multiplied times 3.14 (well, 3) which gave me 51" of pattern required. Dividing by the length of my blade (4"+), I figured I'd need 12 strips of pattern.
I've used a Seminole quilting pattern here. All clay was run through on the third thickness of my pasta machine since this is about equivalent to the depth of the channel hollowed out in the turned bowl.
The Marxit tool was invaluable for cutting straight strips. I
also work on a plastic grid surface to keep me straight. The pictures
tell the rest of the story.