This book has been out since 1999 in England, and after a much anticipated wait, the publishers at Rockport Press have released this great book here in the states!
Before I get into the book, I want to mention that Suzann's polymer clay design career began in 1992 after she received a gift of FIMO from her husband. Now that's what I call a smart husband!!! She is now an Advisory Member of the British Polymer Clay Guild and lives in Sheffield, England, with her daughter and incredibly smart husband! And now the book...
The first chapter is devoted to the basics of materials and techniques. She covers all the basic tools needed, as well as some of the more tempting "gotta have it" tools. She covers the basic properties of the different clays to help you to choose the right one for a particular project. There is a good rundown of basic techniques including conditioning, curing, quenching, leeching, rolling, cutting, and covering objects. She also covers a number of methods for troubleshooting problems with your clay, such as crumbly clay, or warping during baking.
Since the PCC Message Board has been talking about clay guns, I found it interesting that there are instruction in the book for designer Ester Anderson's Clay Gun Wrapping Technique, which loads different colors of clay behind each other inside the gun. I'll leave the rest of this fascinating technique for you to discover! But I will tell you that the book contains some very interesting projects that you do with Ester Anderson's Technique, such as the Tesserae Bangles shown in the picture at the right.
There is a chapter that covers the Miniature World, as well as chapters that discuss Jewelry, Creative Gifts, Home Accessories, and Special Occasions. I was especially fascinated with the Sun and Sea Wall Clock in the Home Accessories chapter, which is a beautiful mosaic sun and earth design (a portion of this can be seen on the book cover). I found the Drapery Finials project to be decorative and exciting for any home, as well as the Tile Cutlery.
I must say that in the Special Occasions chapter that I am particularly fond of the Glow-in-the Dark Eyeballs, which have been a favorite of my customers for almost 10 years, but I do enjoy the fact that Suzann's are VERY bloodshot!!!
The last thing that I'll mention is the Mothers Day Cards, which I feel has a tremendous appeal for the rubber stamp artists who dabble in polymer clay. I see a tremendous potential for this projects and find that the applique work on the clay is luscious!
I find this book will be very helpful for beginners - it covers important information on materials and techniques. I also find that this book has a lot of techniques that start at the beginning, and once you've finished the lesson, it should open up a whole new world of projects!