Monday, June 18, 2007

Polymer Book Reviews.

This weekend I acquired two polymer clay books. There's nothing quite like the joy of having new books, especially how-tos for arts and crafts. I had the time to flip through both books, although I haven't had the chance to test out the quality of the instructions yet. Nonetheless, both books look pretty good.

My first new polymer book is Cats: Big & Small by Christi Friesen. This is the fourth installment in Christi's "Beyond Projects" series of books, and it continues the trend of being entertaining, informative, and enticing. I never intended to make polymer clay beads, but these books tempted me into it! I bought the Dragon one just because I wanted to look at all the pretty pictures and support a great artist, but then I looked at it and said "Hey, I CAN do this."

As the title suggests, this new book teaches you how to make wild cats and house cats. The projects include beads, sculptures, wall-hangings, and pins. There are even instructions on how to make yarn balls and mice, the perfect accessories for crafts. One thing that I really enjoy about Christi's books is that even if you don't want to make the particular subject of the book, there are lots of little tips that can be integrated into other clay work. In the case of Cats, there's information on how to make an eye cane and how to add artistic fibers to clay pieces.

The second book that I picked up is The Polymer Clay Techniques Book by Sue Heaser. The name says it all! This is not so much a project book as a how-to on various ways to work with and modify clay. I bought it because I jumped right into making sculptured dragon beads without ever learning the basics of polymer clay. Of the small collection of polymer-related books at my local B&N, this looked like the best for my needs. After reading through it at home, I'm pretty impressed. It covers making molds, adding various inclusions, how to mimic stones and other natural materials, how to use embossing powders, mica powders, enamels and more with polymer clay! In addition to showing the bead techniques that I'm most interested in, it also discusses how to use polymer to make sculptures, mosaics, boxes, miniatures and more. It's given me a lot to think about, and I am looking forward to trying some of these techniques out!

Both books are clearly written with lots of photographs of various steps to help you out. If you're looking to try polymer clay, or expand your existing knowledge of it, you can't go wrong with either of these books!

Today's Cool Thing is this beautiful Nymph corset top. I'd love to see it paired with a handkerchief-hem skirt and a pair of delicate faerie wings!

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