Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Yes, another 5-star book. Are there books I don’t like as much? Yes. Have those been published lately? No.
It has been a decade–yes, a decade–since Donna published her first book, The Art of Polymer Clay. This second book takes us to Donna today. Her style is elegant, her techniques are innovative, and her instruction makes her projects accessible. I’ve taken two classes from Donna. In fact, I joined my local clay guild when I first started claying just to take Donna’s class–and I haven’t looked back.
Donna’s book is like a portable Kato class. Donna taught many of these techniques in the classes I took from her. However, having this indispensable reference book enables me to review the class at my leisure and further experiment with her techniques. She approaches each technique in a straightforward manner–teach techniques, then apply them to a project. This enables us not only to complete a sample that masters the technique, but also a very beautiful finished piece that will get people talking.
Donna splits the book into seven different sections:
- Polymer Clay Basics
- Mica Shift Techniques
- Transferring Images Onto Polymer Clay
- Creating Texture
- Paints, Inks and Pigment Powders
- Special Effects with Liquid Polymer Clays
- Sculpture and Mold Making
I love Donna’s techniques. They are the result of hours of experimentation and development on her part. The book details both how to do something–and why. For instance, Donna makes a mold from her rubber stamps using polymer clay and THEN uses that mold to create her pieces. She goes into detail about why she does this, and what the results are molding directly from a stamp versus taking an impression from a polymer clay mold made from a rubber stamp. It’s something I never considered, but it makes great sense.
The twelve beautiful projects are accompanied by step-by-step instructions and photographs that walk you through each major component. While some projects are simple, others teach you techniques in constructing complex pieces like her coveted Japanese Inro boxes.
Peppered throughout the book are awe-inspiring inspirational pieces, including the pieces submitted for two of Kato Polyclay’s artists contests/exhibitions–one focused on shoes (Feat of Clay) and one focused on boxes. I was honored to be the 2nd-place winner in the box contest, and my “Donnelly’s Sampler” is included in the book.
The only small issue I had was that one of the products Donna uses in the book, Kato Clay Concentrates, is not available yet. However, given the beautiful colors of mica shift clay she’s achieved, I don’t mind waiting–much.
Aug 3, 2007 UPDATE: Kato PolyClay Color Concentrates are HERE! I spoke too soon!!! They are now on the Prairie Craft website and other Internet stores! Yay!!!
This is yet another book that will stay in my permanent library. I love having a Donna class on my shelf, ready for me at any time.