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RTM = Read the Manual.

OK, so I DO read the manual and just every so often or probably every single time, I miss one thing. The most important thing, it would appear. Like “flexible clay”. I did everything right. I rolled the clay out. I put glycerine here and there and rolled and shmushed and rolled again. I waited. I even made strips so I could weave them and do whatever. The clay turned out hard as rock. Maybe this is what they considered “flexible clay” in the Metal Clay world. Maybe the all the flexibility was “hidden inside” and that was a secret of the trade. Well, darnitalltoheck. When I tried to weave, everything broke. Duh. After two days of drying and trying and sanding and weaving, all I had were strips of this bronze clay and copper clay which was going to be turned into some marvellous design. But noooooooooo….not for me. I really take these things personally. I even talk to various parts of the design out loud while I am making it, but that’s a whole other blog.

Bottom line, I email the manufacturer, a super person, asking what possibly could have gone wrong? I swore I DID EVERYTHING they asked. It was then pointed out to me there were two kinds of clay and I used the wrong kind. Furthermore it was written in the instructions. Read the manual. I did read the manual. It said CLAY. And I was very excited and happy and thrilled to make this stuff for new designs. Fine. So I missed THAT DETAIL

So as we speak I am trying to make flexible clay with a totally different kind of clay from another company JUST TO SEE. I have an antique snowman scupture timer and set it to whenever the clay should be dry but FLEXIBLE. In the past 15 minutes, it’s not dry though apparently it only needs 5 minutes – for the other clay. So, I am experimenting.

This is not a good idea for a newbie. Just stick to the projects and follow the directions and for heaven’s sake if you make all those mistakes, keep the green ware and use it for another design or re-constitute it. There are directions for that, too. And between you and me, this whole “slip/paste” thing, combined with “overlay” is making me more nervous than I already need. Use water then slip. Use slip then paste. If there is a real crack in the clay use Overlay. And it can be fired again. I guess that’s a good thing but of course they don’t give you all the instructions, that I CAN SEE, of the ramping and the time and temp to RE-FIRE said clay.

I’m sure I just MISSED it in the manual.

Melody Pierson