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Using our Rollable Texture Tile to create a textured slab of metal clay is easy! First spritz the Texture Tile with Cool Slip so it releases cleanly from the texture. Decide how thick you want the final clay slab and how deep you want the texture. Let's imagine making a slab 5 cards thick with a very shallow texture depth of 1 card. Start by rolling an untextured slab that is 6 cards thick.
Place the #6 Rolling Frame on your Clayboard or other rolling surface and put a lump of clay in the opening of the frame. Roll out the slab the size and shape you desire. Place the #5 Rolling Frame on the Rollable Texture Tile. Place the 6-cards thick untextured slab in the middle. Roll it flat. It doesn't matter how many times you roll or from which direction, as long as the end product is flat. The starting thickness of the clay is what makes the difference in getting the texture depth you want. If you want a deeper texture, start with a thicker slab.
To determine the slab thickness you need, decide how thick you want your final product. Add to that the number of cards deep you want the texture. The answer is the slab thickness you should start with. For instance, in our example above we wanted a 5-card thick slab in the end. We also wanted 1 card thickness of texture. Add those numbers together and that tells you to start with slab that is 6 cards thick.
Another thing to keep in mind in deciding how thick your slab should be is how thick you want the “floor” of the texture. The floor is the base of the clay, and the texture is the part that is raised above the floor. If you have a very deep texture and the floor is thin, it may warp or tear during firing and could be weak enough to break during wear or use. For very deep textures or textures that leave a lot of exposed floor (the very bottom of the slab), you may want to start with a thicker slab to give enough floor for strength.
Here's another way to think about this that will help you visualize it. When you press a slab of clay into a texture. Some of the clay is displaced as it forms around the texture. Imagine a slab that is 6 cards thick. If you texture it to a depth of 5 cards, that means there are places where there is only a thickness of 1 card of clay left, so the floor is only 1 card thick. Whether that's good or bad depends on the texture and the individual piece that is being made, but it's something that should be considered when decided how thick the clay and texture should be.