The hard clay thing gave me the blues. Happily I have been advised that Polyform is shipping me 20 lbs of nice malleable premo for me to work with!
I cheered myself up by visiting Sandra Dolph's website. Sandra is an earth clayer extraordinaire. I never miss a visit to her beautiful gallery whenever I visit Galiano Island. Her work fuses the colours and textures of our west coast environment with a wonderful Asian inspired style.
I feel energised to try some tiles that veer away from flowers, fish and fruit for a while.... hope you'll visit her website http://www.sandradolph.com/ and see how she inspires you!