I use a glass mat but a smooth surface (a table) is fine too. The workpieces are all baked in a ordinary kitchen oven using a tile, covered in aluminium foil to prevent the workpiece from sticking to the tile.
Use a brayer to smoothen and flatten the clay you are working with. If it is large, this can be used as a bottom or a foundation for your workpiece, if it is small you can use it for flower petals.
CLAY EXTRUSION GUN
You can use this "gun" to make flowers, petals and grass. You can of course use your garlic press, but it will be hard to clean it again.
Drills, blades and tools are used to shape the clay, deepen grooves, shape cuticles, sculpt wrinkles, drill holes and add the artists (your) initials to your workpiece. Look at the picture in the Clay and Tools page. Also very useful are: kitchen knife, toothbrush, pricker or a match.
Amaco, Polyform and Make Me sell molds for making roses, plants, shoes, Paddington, people and bear faces...
Polyform now sells flexible molds. These are very handy. Roll a clay ball the size of the impression you are going to make. Press it completely into the mold. Remove excess clay that does not fit in the mold. Clay should be flush with top of the mold. Place the mold, with the clay in it, inside the freezing compartment of your refrigerator for about 90 seconds. Remove and "pop" your creation out of the mold like an ice cube (press the opposite side of the mold). Now you can customize it, add more details or remove and add parts as desired.The head, hands and feet of this creation, "hide & seek" was made using a Polyform push mold.
These molds enable you to create quickly the preferred textures or patterns in your clay (possibilities i.e. nature or archetecture). They look like pieces of paper, are flexible and transparent and can be used both sides. First you have to put some talcum powder on it, so it will not stick to your workpiece. Then push it on that part of your workpiece you want to decorate (then, wash the mold).
MAGIC FOIL LEAF and PEARL EX POWDER
You can use the foil to add gold or other exotic colours to your workpiece. The powder has to be brushed on (sparingly) for a mother-of-pearl effect.