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Foundations in Polymer Clay Design

Polymer Clay

Written by Barbara A. McGuire
Published by Krause Publications
ISBN 0-87341-800-X

I remember when I got my first Polymer Clay Book, Nan Roche's THE NEW CLAY. If you are a clay enthusiast, then I know you've heard of it. The first time I saw that book, I was mesmerized by the capabilities of Polymer Clay along with the beauty of the book!

Seven years and a thousand pounds of clay later, I am equalLEIGH excited by this brand new book (I will confess that I swiped it away from my best friend so I could write this review). Barbara Mcguire has offered up to the Polymer Clay World, FOUNDATIONS IN POLYMER CLAY DESIGNS. One quick skim of the book and you can see that a tremendous amount of love and work was put into this book, and just in time for the Holidays - that is if you can wait that long!

The quality of the book is wonderful, good heavyweight paper and beautiful photos. I just adore looking at other peoples' Polymer Clay work, and this book is full to the brim with an amazing potpourri of many different styles of Polymer Clay Artists, with some of the most beautiful color photos I've seen of Polymer Clay Art. I was even more excited this time because many of the artists whose work appears in this book, I either know or have met in person.

Barbara McguireThe title of this book FOUNDATIONS IN POLYMER CLAY DESIGNS does not let you down. The first part of the book is UNDERSTANDING POLYMER CLAY. Ms. Mcguire eloquently touches on the versatility of Polymer Clay as an Art Medium. She also explains the basic instructions and extensively covers the tools and supplies that can be used with Polymer Clay. She echoes my favorite words when I teach newcomers about about Polymer Clay, "There are no mistakes"

In Part Two Ms. Mcguire discusses CREATIVITY. She shares many of the things she has learned through discussions with friends, mentors and peers. I love this incredible quote from the book:

"Together, the potential of this incredible medium, and the creativity of the artist, awaken unlimited possibilities."

In Part Three, which is by far the largest section (more than the first two sections combined), we get to explore ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN. This section is a feast of ideas and creativity along with instructions and projects. This book explores Value and color, form and shape, Line and Space, texture, Balance, Pattern and Rhythm, Movement, Contrast and Emphasis and at last, Unity. How apropos that the last chapter of this wonderful book discusses Unity in Design. The author has brought together all the information about Polymer Clay along with lessons in all the elements of design. I believe that reading this book will definitely improve your creativity... I know it did mine. Now if I could just get away from my computer and over to my workbench!

Before I close this review I need to mention something about this photo that I have included. This is a photo of the "Egyptian Queen" cane as it was cut open after reducing. If you look closely, you can see the glass disc, that helps in the reduction technique, still on the end of the cane. I am so excited that the photographer was able to capture the Unique beauty of a well turned out cane, still attached to it's workspace!

Kudos, Barbara Mcguire - in this reviewer's opinion, you have written a "must have" for Polymer Clayers as well as a very understandable book on the elements of design that will help student artists of all mediums. As someone who is working to spread information about Polymer Clay around the World through the Internet, I am thrilled to have another resource that I can suggest to my members.

Leigh Ross

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