My review this time is on Making Polymer Clay Beads, written by Carol Blackburn. All together I counted over 20 different bead shapes with some of them being unique beads that I have not seen in any of the other books I have. Maybe I missed them or maybe they are just explained in a little more detail here that made them stand out more to my eye.
As usual the book begins with all the basics- different types of clay, tools, conditioning, and baking. There was a very clever idea for a measuring tool that was very simple to make from something every home has. There are basics in different shapes, color mixing, and then the more in depth techniques begin-such as combing/feathering, the skinner blend and how these are applied to beads in a variety of ways. The Kaleidoscope cane is explained in a way that makes it easy and very symmetrical.
The pictures all along the way are very crisp clear and leave no doubt as to what you should be doing in each step. She shows different ways of using molds and how the techniques can be used on beads. Foils, powders, glitters are all used and applique and inlay are also shown in various ways. After the beads are made the different sanding, buffing, and varnishing techniques are shown and explained.
Faux techniques are in the heart of the book with malachite, veined marble, abalone, and agate being particularly well described. But those were just 4 of the 16 faux looks taught. All are very well detailed.
The very last section of the book brings everything together. Carol shows the different tools used in beading, what they are called, and how they are used. She demonstrates how different findings are attached and what they are called. She shows all different kinds of cording, wires, and beading methods to string your beads. Lastly she inspires us with ways to design with beads, and finishes up with a gallery of finished examples from various artists.
I give the book 5 out of 5 stars and it would be an asset for polymer clay bead makers and any beginner polymer clayer would be able to make a great variety of beads with the instructions provided.
Until next time, happy claying and special prayers going out to the guild master and her family.