1) Correct Conditioning:
Conditioning the clay is the first important step. What does this mean? Basically, it is the process of stretching, bending and re-stretching the clay several times until the edges do not crack or crack to a minimum (see reference photo). This ensures that the clay has adequate flexibility for cutting.
2) Extend with care:
Always position the fold of the clay to one side before re-stretching it. This trick helps to eliminate trapped air both above and below the clay, preventing the formation of unwanted bubbles. If, despite your best efforts, bubbles appear, gently stretch the dough where you see them using your fingers, then fold and stretch again until you reach the desired thickness. You can also prick the bubbles to release trapped air before stretching again.
3) Let it rest:
After opening a package of clay and conditioning it, it is common for the clay to become too soft. This can cause your pieces to warp, mark excessively or stick to your tools during the cutting process. To avoid this, let the dough rest. Stretch it between two sheets of white office paper and let it rest for a period that can sometimes vary from one day to the next. You can then store this stretched and rested dough by folding it and placing it in a zip-lock bag to prevent it from drying out.
Remember that a dough that has not been properly conditioned will lack the necessary elasticity and may crack after firing. On the other hand, a dough that has not rested may hinder the cutting process as it adheres excessively to the materials due to its high solvent content.