The clamps are unidirectional. They tighten when you push against them, and release when you pull the workpiece back. So they are effective when you are pushing against the clamps. So you need to orient your work process to the clamps.
There is no magic to these shapes. Ideally it would be a gradually increasing radius curve. Mine is a Bernoulli curve, which is an approximation that I could find a nice clean JPG online. It can be adapted to any size piece of wood, I had a scrap piece of 12 x 12 seven ply spruce laying in the recycle bin. Use what you have and adjust the size of the clamp to fit.
Author's note - A later commenter suggested using string tied around a nail (or small disk) to provide a true increasing radius curve. This is a better solution and one that in no way infringes on any patents filed y the above mentioned video. To see how tis process works, look at a cam cleat on a sailboat. This adaptation has been around for decades and has never been patented, since it is an obvious example of an applied physics principle. I disavow all knowledge of Bernoulli, or his principles, or the application to fill scuba tanks using his principles.
Step 1: Make Some Rough Blanks
The exact shape doesn't matter. I filed off the rough edges with a rasp and file. Then sanded the edges and applied sanding sealer to all surfaces.
Step 2: Finish Them
Mount the clamps as shown so the workpiece fits between the two sides. rotate he clamps to contact the workpiece. Push forward slightly and feel the clamp engage the workpiece. That is all there is to it. You can now hold a workpiece securely to your workbench for sanding, shaping, or sculpting.