Working with clay
One of the most important things to do when working with clay is to feel it. This may sound silly, but getting used to the texture and feel of the clay is important. The reason for this is actually very practical. There are many different types and qualities of clay and each type of clay is suitable for a particular task. When buying clay ask about the amount of grog that the clay contains. Grog is a hard element in the clay that determines the strength or weakness of the material. If you are going to use the clay for sculptural purposes then you need strong, flexible clay; while smoother clay with less grog may be more appropriate for pottery work.
However, there are no hard and fast rules and I have often used a clay that was deemed for pottery in my sculptural work. This is what one has to develop a "feel" for clay. It is only through actually working with the particular clay that one establishes a sense of its quality and ability.