My husband refuses to read directions (until after he's done something wrong!) I do read directions and try to follow them (when I remember what I've read. That's getting harder to do the older I get.)
As mentioned in the previous posts, I've been working with Hadar Jacobson's powdered copper and bronze clays. Hadar has four books out and the most recent book has directions for doing inlay with copper and bronze. (Hadar is a smart cookie. It's necessary to have all of her books. She mentions a technique and instead of repeating herself, tells you where to find it in a previous book. Smart!)
Anyway, the inlay technique (and there are several ways for creating a base for the inlay..... will talk about that later) requires a base which has a deeply impressed design in it. Then contrasting clay is rolled out and worked into the recesses. In the process, the entire piece gets covered with the contrasting clay which has to be sanded down until both colors of clay can be seen. Hadar says to do this with the top, face down on the sandpaper. As soon as you can see the two colors coming through, she says to turn the piece over and work from the top. That way you can see your design and this will keep you from losing parts of your design. It's true........ take the extra time it takes to sand from the top.
Look closely at my fish and you'll see what I'm talking about. I've learned my lesson. No more shortcuts! This piece will be added to my visuals of what not to do. (Got one of those for torch firing too. Everyone has to see what it looks like when you melt silver.)