Lisa Pavelka “Complete Guide” Polymer Clay Book Review

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Library Reading Parker - Polymer Clay Sculpture by KatersAcres

I am a 100% self-taught polymer clay artist…and from being involved in many different polymer clay communities, I’m NOT the only one!  It turns out that most polymer clay artists are self-taught.  On Tuesdays I usually give you some kind of a tip or trick to working with polymer clay.  Today I’m going a step further.  I’m giving you an entire book full of tips & tricks to help you as you learn to clay.  That’s right, today I am doing polymer clay book reviews and hopefully will be able to do a book review every month for you!  

Every artist in every medium should have a variety of books to refer to for inspiration and techniques.  


Today I will introduce you to my favorite book in my arsenal of polymer clay books.  For many clayers, we have that one special book that we use as a guide, motivation tool, and even as inspiration.  When I was beginning to work with clay, I read this book over and over and over again.  “The Complete Book of Polymer Clay” by Lisa Pavelka.  I took it everywhere.  In fact, due to heavy use, I had to buy a second copy.  I have around 30 polymer clay books (and my collection is growing)…and while I have found many helpful, none have been as useful in going back to and using as reference and inspiration as this book.  Trust me, it’s worth $20 it costs you to get this book!


Lisa gives a disclaimer for this book as well: “Considering the hundreds of techniques and applications for polymer clay, those known and those yet to be discovered, it would be impossible to offer the truly “complete” book of clay. As a part of a book series, this book is offered to provide a comprehensive collection of most of the commonly known and universal techniques and applications for polymer clay, including a few of my own.”


I bought this book when I knew nothing about polymer clay. Throughout my years of claying, I still read it often and use it for inspiration for color palettes, techniques, and new ideas too!  You will get the most value from this book if you are a beginner to intermediate polymer clay-level artist.  If you are advanced, there is nothing in this book that you probably haven’t already learned or tried before … that being said, the projects are awesome!  This book covers everything from the basics: tools, supplies, types of clay, extra “stuff” to techniques like mokume gane, basic canes, stamping, foiling, combining elements and so much more.


You can get this book direct from Amazon for under $20.


Do you have a favorite polymer clay book?  Which book is your go-to reference book for claying?  Do you want a different book reviewed? Chances are I have it in my library and I’d be happy to do a full review.  Do you want to see me make a project from this book?  Let me know and I can do that too!

Thank you for being a part of the Kater’s Acres Family, Sculpting Blessings,


4 thoughts on “Lisa Pavelka “Complete Guide” Polymer Clay Book Review

  1. Katie,

    This is actually the first book I bought when I started out with clay. I, too, read it over and over! While mine isn’t falling apart, yet, I reference it all the time. I love Lisa’s work and how clearly she is in/with her instructions. I couldn’t even get a skinner blend right before this book. Can’t wait to see what else she brings us in the future.

    In addition, Katie, you too have become a great resource for me. Thank you so much for sharing your numerous tips, tricks, turtorials, and all the other many fantastic things you’ve opened my eyes to. I am so happy whenever I get one of your newsletters. Thank you so much!

  2. Hi Katie and thanks for the wonderful review of my last book. I’m truly honored by your evaluation of it and the fact that you used it to the point that you needed a second copy! I agree with you that my intended audience was primarily beginners and intermediate clay users. Since it’s publication, I never cease to be surprised and pleased to also hear from advanced and professional polymer clay artists that they too have found value in tips that they had previously been unaware of and some of the new techniques that were introduced for the first time in the book. I hope it continues to be a source of help and inspiration to you. My goal for 2013 is to hopefully have a new book or two out as well as an increased frequency of magazine articles. Thanks again for the wonderful and unsolicited review. May every day be filled with clay and always keep art in your heart! Clayfully Yours – Lisa Pavelka

    1. What an honor to have you visit my blog today Lisa! I would LOVE to know when you are putting out a new book…I have tons of polymer clay books and all of the ones you have written as well. I’ve made the Carmex toppers for years because of your gift book! I’d love to see you do an advanced techniques books geared toward intermediate or advanced clayers.

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