This can be anything from a drinking straw to a professional jewellery tumbler. Take a look around at the things you use everyday. A toothpaste cap or the bristles of an old toothbrush might give you just the pattern you are after. A cookie cutter might give you a perfect earring shape. The tiny drinking straw from the juice box might be spot on for making holes to hang a piece from. An old nail file can be excellent for cleaning up a piece prior to firing. A toothpick or a needle can be perfect for modelling and shaping clay (just look at Carol Douglas' stunning little creatures - they're all done with needles and toothpicks!). Point is, you don't have to spend a fortune on tools to get started with metal clay.
Having said that, we must not be the only tool addicts here...there is something very addictive about jewellery making tools!
Click here for a more in-depth look at the basic tools you need for working with metal clay and a list of some of our favourites!