Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Book Review: Polymer Clay Creative Traditions

This review is written by Cindi of

This week's review is Judy Belcher's Book titled Polymer Clay Creative Traditions, and just one look at the cover of the book and you know you're in for a treat with this book.

If I had to name a quality about Judy, it would have to be meticulous. Have you seen how perfectly neat her canes are? I mean, yeah they look cool, but there is absolutely no distortion in her canes.
On with the book ~ The pictures are great and Judy is just as descriptive and helpful in the book as she is on her TV appearances. For clay newbies- basic clay history, care, tools, and supplies are all explained in the forward pages.
The book is broken down into chapters of traditional art mediums, and at the end of each chapter is a gallery full of finished items by various different artists.
Glass Traditions is the first chapter which includes millefiori, two tone tessellation, Chinese eye beads, mosaics, fused and slumped glass. There is an example of a slumped bowl by James Lehman that is really spectacular. You'd never suspect that it is polymer clay. But the one project that I am so wanting to try is the encased bead (done with embossing powder)
The next chapter is Metals and the Mokume Gane examples really look like metal. but there are also texture stamping and an enameled pin.
Fiber Traditions is next and OMG! There so many cool fabrics to make in polymer clay. Even if you didn't use them as clothing for a figure, these are interesting enough for your pendants and beads. Ikat, bargello, batik, quilting, Kente and Mud cloths just to name a few.
Painting and drawing is the next chapter, and oh my, I wish you could see the Georgia O'Keefe flower purse that Judy shows how to make. It is stunning! Several other artists' work is shown how to imitate in polymer clay - included is Gustav Klimt, Georges Seurat (pointillism), Jackson Pollock(abstract expressionist), and M.C. Escher (which has directions for a beautiful geometric cane)
Stone, Bone, and Wood is the next chapter a few of the highlights here are chatoyant effects, bone simulations with scrimshaw, and parquetry.
The last chapter is Sculpture and Ceramics and the first thing she teaches is how to make a triangle horse head and it is simple! Along with the horse head there are other animal heads that can easily be made with the same instructions. Also is metallic raku, crackle raku, and mishisima and decorative layering.
Overall I give the book 5 stars out of 5 and I will not be getting rid of my copy.

Until next time..happy claying!


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