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The
Polymer Clay Techniques Book

Written by Sue Heaser
Published by North Light Books, 1999
ISBN 1581800088

Buy This Book at AMAZON.COM

Sue Heaser has another winner with The Polymer Clay Technique Book. The cover says "over 50 techniques for creating fabulous oven-clay projects from jewelry to doll house miniatures", and that is no exaggeration.

Sue starts her book with a chapter on Inspiration. She shows us the work of twelve noted Polymer Clay artists, each one using a totally different technique. I've always felt that polymer clay's theme song should be "The Great Pretender" because there are so many things yet to be discovered about it that even a veteran PC artist should not be surprised when someone new comes along and makes it do something totally different. Well, Sue Heaser's book is a compilation of many such experiments from the PC community.

Only four pages of this 128 page book are devoted to suplies and tools - the rest of the book is filled with how-to information, techniques, and projects. The chapter list includes: Millefiore Bottle

  • Inspiration
  • Equipment and Materials
  • Getting Started
  • Manipulating the Clay
  • Sculpting
  • Decoration and Embellishment
  • Clay Simulatin and Inclusions
  • Properties of Clay
  • Further Information
Anyone and everyone who has any interest in Polymer Clay will enjoy this book. The newest of beginners will benefit from this book, but should probably have a book which explains the very basics with a little more detail, because with as many techniques as Ms. Heaser covers, they are not gone into with deep explanation. Intermediate and advanced clayers will definitely have fewer questions. For the beginner, I suggest they join Polymer Clay Central where they will have many experts around to answer any questions that might arise.

This book is an incredible blend of projects, techniques, and information. Each technique is explained and used in more than one project, and each of those techniques is an example of the versatility of this medium. Ms. Heaser has done a tremendous amount of work in collecting the newest techniques possible in this book, although, as with computers, when you buy that brand new Pentium 5000MHz(!!!) with all the bells and whistles and then get it home and find out someone invented a new bell or whistle, with Polymer Clay as new and versatile as it is, there are no boundaries for experimentation or for direction, and many new "bells and whistles" will be added to the wonderful techniques that are documented here.

I've been doing this for ten years,and I can't think of a technique this book doesn't cover. It also contains information on new techniques, such as the Mica Shift using Premo Gold, image transfers, balloon vessels, basket weaving, mosaics, and Pietre Dure.

Pietre Dure is a semi-precious stone technique from 16th Century Florence. I learned about it from this book and I am fascinated with how well it will transfer from hard stone to Polymer Clay, and can't wait to give it a try. It's a little like Mosaic, but in Pietre Dure the pieces comprising the designs are cut and shaped to fit the overall design factor. It is much more like Marquetry, where different pieces and varities of wood are cut and shaped and inlayed in beautiful designs and landscapes. With PC, the possibilities are endless as you can use many different techniques to form your faux-stone designs.

In the back of the book is a marvelous Chart on the properties of the main brands of Polymer Clay - nine of them in all. I have to confess, without looking at the chart, that I can only come up with five brands, so I have to conclude that Ms. Heaser certainly did her homework!

There is so much valuable information in this book that everytime I pick it up I find something new. I applaud Ms. Heaser's ability to get so much information in such a great book, and the selection of artwork from many different artists will prove to be an inspiration for a multitude of artists in the future.

Enjoy!

Leigh Ross
©2000 by Leigh Ross

Members' Comments:

"I was skeptical about buying any book but when I saw this book all of the many techniques in there I just had to have it! I love this book.. it gives you sooo many ideas and then of course if you have an imagination like I do.. the daisy clock can become a butterfly clock etc.. I highly recommend this book to everyone.. it is absolutely wonderful! "
— Donna

"Yes, I loved the book. I wish FIMO Soft had been around when she was working so diligently...because it's wonderful and the new color palette for FIMO Classic AND FIMO Soft is so fun! I love the new red - it's a true blue-red and exactly what I've always wanted... The book is a dream and VERY full. I LOVE it! "
— Laurie

"I have tried several techniques discribed in this book and have found it to be truly 'inspirational' and informative. My friends and I have enjoyed this book trememdously. Thanks for creating a book that 'new-bees' can understand and use."
— Carol

"This is a super book! Excellent for beginners and the experieced. I have learned many new techniques from the well written instructions and detailed photographs."
— Mia

"I bought this book a couple of months ago. It is a wonderful book. Great for new clayers, and clayers that have been at it for a while! And with all the photos of the artists work, it gives me inspiration!"
— kellieAK

"What a great book! I have already tried several of the techniques with wonderful results. Great for a beginner like me."
— Gloria Thompson

"I bought this book a few months ago as well. Since I have other books by Sue Heaser, I knew this would be a good one. It far surpassed my expectations! Her step-by-step instructions make everything easy to learn."
— Sally Haskell


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