Remember when firing items containing cork clay to remove the plug in the top of the kiln during the firing process. This will allow the fumes from the vaporized cork clay to escape and will the let the piece sinter without any interference.
Use a brass brush on a fired piece to create a satin finish. Use a steel brush to create a matte finish. Steel is recommended for harder clays such as copper or bronze.
How do you know when your piece is dry? It will be even in color and not cool to the touch. Put it against your cheek and if it feels cool then it is not dry. Another way is to put it on a mirror. If it does not leave a “ghost mark” then it is dry. It is important to fire after the piece is fully dry. It if is still wet it can crack or cause bubbles in the surface when fired.
Do not eat in your work area. Some of the items used with metal clay can be toxic and they could get on your food. Likewise make sure to wash your hands before you eat if you have been working in your studio.
Metal files are used to remove large defects or carve in dry clay, not to smooth. To smooth or round edges use a nail file or sandpaper.
Refine your piece before drilling holes. This way the hole will be the proper distance from the edge.
Use an old fashioned light bulb supported in a small cup to create the curve for a lentil bead. You will need two light bulb/cup setup, one for each side of the lentil. Texture, cut out two circles in the clay and then place each on top of a light bulb to dry.
If you put a piece in the kiln that is not bone dry you run the risk of blistering. Any moisture left in the piece during firing expands and can cause bubbles.
When putting holes in a piece the hole should be at least as far away from the edge as the size of the hole. So if you have a 2mm hole in an earring then the hole should be at least 2 km from the edge.
You should spend about 10-20% of time working on your clay piece while it is wet and about 80-90% when it is dry.