Top Sculpting Books in Polymer Clay (Not Sponsored)
Here’s my top sculpting books in polymer clay and a few brief recommendations on why they are my favorites. There are a lot of sculpting books for polymer clay. Digging through the masses of sculpting books to find your favorites can be tough, especially in such a niche market.
If you are new to KatersAcres, my goal with everything that I do here on the website is to make polymer clay engaging, fun, and accessible to everyone. You don’t need to be a professional artist to use this unique, versatile, and readily available medium. One of the things I’m doing in 2016 is choosing one polymer clay book of the month to share with you.
If you are new to KatersAcres, welcome to the clay fun, wonderful, a tiny-bit crazy, but mostly a laid back learning zone! If you are not new to KatersAcres, welcome back. My goal with everything that I do here on the website is to make polymer clay engaging, fun, and accessible to everyone. You don’t need to be a professional artist to use this versatile medium. One of the new things I’m doing in 2016 is choosing one polymer clay book of the month to share with you. These books may be brand new, like January’s “Dogs” Book by Christi Friesen, or older and well loved, like this month’s Fairies, Gnomes, & Trolls by Maureen Carlson.
If you are new to KatersAcres, welcome to the clay FUN ZONE! If you are not new to KatersAcres, welcome back. My goal with everything that I do here on the website is to make polymer clay engaging, fun, and accessible to everyone. You don’t need to be a professional artist to use this versatile medium. One of the new things I’m doing in 2016 is choosing one polymer clay book of the month to share with you. These books may be brand new, like January’s “Dogs” Book by Christi Friesen, or older and well loved, like this month’s Images on Clay series by Barbara McGuire.
Earlier this week I announced my plans for KatersAcres blog in 2016. [You can read the post here] One of those things is that each month I will introduce you to a ‘polymer clay book of the month.’ This book may be new, it may be old … but one thing will be sure. It’s a book that I like and think that you will too. I have several big artists and their books lined up all year, so be sure to check back on the first Friday of every month.
The Art of Polymer Clay: Designs and Techniques for Creating Jewelry, Pottery, and Decorative Artwork by Donna Kato
Donna Kato is one of the best known polymer clay artists in the world. Her name is not only synonymous with quality work, bold colors and patterns, teacher and “notable” person being the maker of “Kato Polyclay”. I am a fan of Donna Kato’s work, so when one of my student brought this book to their clay class [see a list of classes offered in my studio here] and wanted to show me some work they liked, I was glad to see they had already delved into the polymer world. I had the first print of this book from several years ago, however, having many students in and out of my studio through the years, it somehow got away from me. So, I repurchased this updated version recently on Amazon.
If you are a bibliophile (like I am) then books are your thing. This also means that books are very personal. Books take on a life of their own, even instructional based books. I have assembled the “top five” polymer clay books, based on my opinion alone. I will also recommend an additional 3 books that also rank very high on my list, and in fact made this a very hard decision in 3 of my categories.
If you are a polymer clay artist and would like to recommend a polymer clay book that perhaps didn’t make my cut, feel free to do so in the comments below.
It’s the promotional front-matter that sells books for the most part, right? Right. Here’s what Amazon has to say about it:
Create a beautiful one of a kind life-like Santa figure with the this inspiring book. Filled with easy to follow instructions, tips and techniques by professional artist and sculptor Michele Barrow-Belisle, this book will guide you to create your own polymer clay sculptures.
Here’s What I Say
First … there’s literally nothing to compare to a new polymer clay book in your hands. I love the excitement when I order it, the surprise when I get it, and devouring it like I haven’t had a new book in forever (which is not the truth because I am an avid reader). This being said …
I truly loved this book. I have several books on sculpting human-like figures, but this one is probably one of the best I have. Michele has an easy going writing style, her instructions are easy to explain, and she (like other authors) makes it look so easy. I will say that compared to the other books on sculpting that I have, Michele uses some techniques that are a little different … and that I actually like.
She spends plenty of time showing good photos and explaining in details what the pictures are trying to show you. This book does not spend a lot of time on choosing clay, tools, etc. And … I like that about it. I like it because you can read that in so many polymer clay books that at times it feels like wasted ink. Michele gets straight to the point and dives into the sculpting aspect.
Sculpting portions include: Santa’s face, teeth, ears, neck, and hands with meticulous details to make a realistic hand. There are even some good details on adding washes of color to your baked Santa parts. Including a brief discussion on why the author uses Genesis heat set paints.
For a full sculpting book on the human figure (in particular Santa Claus) it is relatively short at only 52 pages. These 52 pages include a “Notes” section for the reader to write in, as well as the reference & links pages.
Probably my least favorite part is that this is a very short book with a very high price tag at $28.60. However, it’s Christmas … and buying yourself a ‘how to sculpt Santa’ book is merry.
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For those who know me, I mean really know me, they know that for years I’ve had my head in books. Whether for college, grad school, theology, fun, or crafting. I love them! There’s just something about books that makes me happy. There’s something about reading that makes me happy too. In fact, not only do I have more than enough real books, I have over 200 on my Kindle right now as we speak. I generally read up to 4 books at a time: mostly sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, or period fiction. Over the 3 years or so that I’ve had my Kindle, it has become my best friend. And the fact that I can read from my app anywhere too … well, let’s just say I read a lot. It’s a hobby. It’s a pastime. And often it’s a compulsion. Continue reading Polymer Clay Books On My Bookshelf
One of the things that I love most in this world are books. Whether big or small, short or tall, it matters not. I love books and I tend to read and devour them very quickly. With this love for real books, comes a love for polymer clay books. I must have 100 polymer clay books, likely almost every book ever written! This being said, finding a polymer book that stands out from the crowd can often be daunting. This book Fantasy Creatures in Clay by Emily Coleman is a different type of a book. It is not a project book or a tutorial book. Rather, this book is detail driven.
Well, this is the final book review for Christi Friesen for the Friesen Project of 2013. It has been a great year filled with projects, fun, and much more. I certainly hope that you have enjoyed it and had fun getting to know your clay once again. Look for another HUGE project coming your way for 2014 and a new FB group to join as well. Next year’s project will be much different, but very fun & enjoyable!