This is something I do a lot whenever I have clay that is just too soft to retain its shape and texture. After doing this, the clay should still be soft and "moldable" after conditioning , but will keep its shape more easily.
This is something
kindly convinced me to do, along with other cool tips she's done herself, and she might post this on her gallery and/or blog as well. (Just so people don't accuse her of stealing anything)