It all starts with need. When I need a pattern, design or tile that I don't already have, making a new one is in order. The first step is a drawing usually on bond paper which is strong yet flexible when damp. The drawing is then smoothed onto a slab of moist clay and the design is carefully traced using a ball point pen which will glide over the damp paper without tearing it. Tracing leaves a clear impression of the drawing on the soft clay surface which becomes the guide for the carving to follow.