One thing is for sure. Until you actually work with metal clay it is very difficult to know exactly how you are doing as far as finishing and designing work. The few pieces I did last week have become guinea pigs and that is good because now they are much better. I have resanded, refired and worked on them the hard way.....after firing them. Believe me ...not the way to accomplish the best in a decent amount of time. Also, because of them, the pendant I just finished is much better in every way. The photos are of the front and back, 1 1/4 x 3/4's of an inch. Almost all the work was done in the greenware state so that I only had to soft burnish with my brass brush after firing. What a difference it made! I think reading Barbara Becker Simons book more and more has made me very aware of how important "the eagle eye", as Barbara puts it, really is, for a great finish.
I also refinished my hinged pendant and it is much better but it took forever and will never be perfect. The door is gold leaf on polmer clay. I'm not sure if I like it better without the colored door??