Of course, once the explanation was made, it made sense, but it was and is still magic.
Suspended in a binder material, we have finely ground silver, or copper, brass and even gold. This mixed material is air dry (another reason to give a polymer artist pause - yipe! It dries.) Once it is subjected to high temperature via a kiln, the binder burns away and you're left with only the metal so, it also shrinks.
Metal clay is much more forgiving than I had anticipated. It dries but it can be wet again. Even totally dried bits can be reconstituted and restored.
When it is dry, you can file and sand and refine to your heart's content - no need to just roll a piece out, smash a texture in and call it good. You can be as particular, as specific, as you like. I love the sanding, filing part, I like making corners.
One person who inspired and continues to inspire is Gordon Uyehara. Here is someone who has always shown us the best of this amazing material's possibilities. He makes art, there is no doubt about it.
So, today, here is Gordon's gallery. It's the eye candy for the day.