This post is written by 2GoodClaymates
My favorite tool is definitely the extruder.
I use it for creating canes like the one used to cover this mirror compact and pen.
I also love to create filigree patterns like the ones in the cross pendants shown. Different colored clay is extruded in tiny strands and then arranged into a pattern.
My favorite use for the extruder is finishing off my pieces with a filigree design used on the pen and mirror compact shown above as well as these bangles which is actually hiding the seam.
I have a few tips to share on making better use with your extruder. Before inserting the log of clay into the chamber, give it a squirt with a bit of Armour All and rub it all over. After extruding your clay, the remainder will come out easily leaving the extruder chamber fairly clean.
I also like to store my extruder discs with some "cheat sheets" and clay samples. I picked up this tip from Angela at Craft Goat. http://blog.craftygoat.com/2008/06/extruder_discs_get_to_know.html
Lay out your discs on the scanner, scan them in and then print them out, or print out the sheet she has provided.
Condition some scrap clay and extrude small samples from each disc and bake them.
You can glue the clay samples onto your cheat sheet or store them with your discs like I've done:
I placed each cut out sample from the cheat sheet, the matching extruder disc and the baked clay pieces into small bags. I then numbered each bag and punched a hole at the top.
The bags all fit on a shower hook which I hang above my clay table. Whenever I use my extruder, I have my clay sample that helps me easily decide on which size I need. I then have my print out so I know where the disc belongs after I’m through with it for storage.