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Click to Order From Amazon! Polymer Clay - Creating Functional and Decorative Objects
by Jacqueline Gikow
Krause Publications, 2001
List Price: $21.95
Discount Price: $15.37

Reviewed by Martha Aleo

I loved this book from the moment I opened it. While I enjoy making beads and jewelry, I am also interested in making vessels, boxes and combining the book arts with polymer clay. If you are interested in these topics, this book is for you.

This book starts with basic polymer clay information which is competently covered. There is a section on color theory and color mixing which I found useful. The projects, which I would consider intermediate to advanced, are clearly explained and illustrated.

The first project chapter shows how to construct free form vessels by pinching and coiling. There are helpful illustrations and some projects incorporate different polymer techniques and sculptural forms like the jade mouse bottle.

The box making chapter is my favorite. Besides explaining basic box construction including joining slabs and making lids there is a bevy of information on different types of hinges: tube hinges, piano hinges, embedded hinges, lids without hinges, hooks and hasps, catches and finishing touches you can add to make your box unique.

The mold making chapter is informative too. There are directions for making and using core molds, one and two piece polymer clay molds, plaster press molds, and two-piece plaster molds. Other topics include working with wire forms, sculpey super flex and elasticlay. Projects include a teapot and a faux raku bowl.

Another intriguing chapter is entitled "Polymer Clay and the Literary Life." This contains projects which combine polymer clay and book arts. There are directions for making codex books, concertina books, accordion books, and post cards, as well as books with polymer clay pages.

Another chapter is devoted to fun projects for toys: a kaleidoscope, pinwheel, checker and chess sets, a rainstick, whistles and rattles.

The final section of the book deals with home decor and contains instructions for making clocks, vases, lamps and night lights, These are all beautifully illustrated and clearly explained.

The appendices are noteworthy for containing a bibliography and a useful section on safety and ergonomics.

Reader Comments:

"I found this to be one of the best books on the market for those of us who are beyond the beginner stage. It is inspiring and well written; the photos are phenomenal. I keep a 3 ring binder of work that inspires me and I found so many photos in this book that just rocked me, I bought a second copy just for the photos.There is no doubt of the 30 or so polymer clay books I own, this is my favorite."

Irene Rogers
"What a beautiful book. I found it very informative about non-jewelry type projects, how refreshing! All of the directions are very clear, and she answers of all the questions you might have in the text. I like the large assortment of different types of styles of projects! Keep up the good work Jacqueline."

Lisa Gauthier

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