Translucent clay is frequently used in millefiori canes, to provide a translucent protective sheet over colored clay, and in many imitative techniques. For some imitative techniques, an often irritating phenomenon called "plaquing" may actually be helpful. In some translucent clays, there is a tendency for small white half-moon shapes to appear after baking. This "plaquing" is thought to be caused by moisture that gets into the clay from handling or atmospheric humidity.
Many artists like to have translucent clay on hand when mixing their own colors. The effect of different opacities and translucencies in juxtapostion can add immediate interest to a piece of art.
It is possible to add translucent clay to colored opaque clay to "stretch" it further (i.e. make more colored clay). Sometimes this is done to soften hard or crumbly clay, as translucent clay tends to be softer than opaque clay. However, the more translucent clay you add to your opaque clay, the more likely you are to have a color shift during firing. (Some colors of clay, right out of the package, are more prone to color shifts, simply because some colors are composed of a higher proportion of translucent clay than are others.)
When making mica shift using mica clay that is highly saturated with mica particles (such as the Kato brand), some artists find that they get a different chatoyant effect by mixing the mica clay with translucent clay, up to a 1:1 ratio.
Translucent clay is more prone to scorching than colored clays, so it is especially important to monitor it during curing and not over-bake. You may find that covering the clay or "tenting" it with a piece of aluminum foil helps prevent discoloration.
Many people find that translucent clay comes out somewhat clearer when dunked in ice water immediately after curing. (Leave it in the ice bath for at least thirty minutes for best results.)