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
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
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.
"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."
"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."