An important part of making using clay is the finish, the refining. With the coloured clay, ripples and dents can be disguised to some extent yet, it is of personal importance to 'finish' the piece as perfectly as possible. It is much easier to refine a piece when it is in its green stage as the clay is still workable.
When gouging the strata, I find that I need to leave the clay until it is leather hard to avoid 'dragging' the colour through the layers. With each gouge, a new layer is revealed.
Before bisque firing, I use wire wool to mimic the rivers and streams as they flow through the gaps. (It is important to use a face mask and the extractors as the fine clay particles can cause serious damage.)
The process is quite therapeutic and I revel in the smooth results.
The work is then high fired and then refined with the grinding machine.