Thursday, April 17, 2008

In the Beginning......

I starting my artistic life with a BA in Art decades ago. Originally I was a photographer and printmaker. I started working with polymer clay in 1990. I don't remember how I found out about the clay. I do remember that the first clay I found was Cernit. A friend and I tried to recreate the African millefiori trade beads that we both collected. The beads were a good imitation, until they were baked. They didn't stay hard edged. The contours were soft and the appearance translucent. Eventually I discovered Fimo and got the nice hard edgez, and opaque colors, I was looking for.
I have purchased A LOT of books, videos and magazines to learn how to work with the clay. I will post lists of the books, and videos, in future blogs and I will talk about some of them in the future.
My first book purchase was The New Clay by Nan Roche, 1991. This was the "Bible" for us early polymer clay people. I think it was the first book devoted to working with the clay. My skills really improved once I had this book. Even though I find a lot of the examples simplistic now, it is still a very valuable book. It covers a lot of techniques with easy to follow instructions.
When learning to work with polymer clay, it really helped me to learn with someone else. It also didn't hurt that my fimo buddy has a PHD in astro physics. Two brains are better than one. My brain leans right and Mary's brain leans left. So between the two of us we have a nice big balanced brain. Unfortunately she lives in another state. But we do get together every year for our annual Arts and Crafts week. It is total clay immersion for 10 days. We seem to be in sync each year about the polymer clay, and precious metal clay, techniques we want to work on. There just might be something to that astrology sign thing. We have the same birthday, though different birth years.
I discovered while making my very first millefiori cane that I would rather play with the scraps. As Mary was busy making new canes, I was busy playing with the scraps from my one and only cane. Here is what I made with the slices from that very first cane. I have to laugh every time I look at it. I've come a long way since then! However, one thing that hasn't changed is that I still love asymmetrical abstract composition.

My Library of Polymer Clay Books

In the 18 years that I have been working with polymer clay I have accumulated a lot of books. In future postings I will give you my thoughts on them. In my first posting I talked about my very first book, my polymer clay bible - The New Clay by Nan Roche. Here is the complete list of the books I own, in alphabetical order by author: - The Art of Jewelry - Polymer Clay by Duncan Aimone, Katherine 2006 - Creative Techniques for Polymer Clay Jewelry, 40 Projects by Bananto, Nanetta 2005 - Polymer Clay Creative Traditions by Belcher, Judy 2006 - Making Polymer Clay Beads by Blackburn, Carol 2007 - Creative Clay Jewelry by Dierks, Leslie 1994 - Creating Your Own Antique Jewelry by Dupou, Chris 2000 - Polymer Clay, Exploring New Techniques and Materials by Fago, Celie and Sargeant, Georgia 2002 - Creating with Polymer Clay - Designs, Techniques & Projects by Ford, Steven & Dierks, Leslie 1996 - Polymer Clay, Creating Functional and Decorative Objects by Gikow, Jaqueline 2001 - Fast Polymer Clay by Heaser, Sue 2003 - Polymer Clay Techniques Book by Heaser, Sue 1999 - Celebrations with Polymer Clay - 25 Seasonal Projects by Helm, Sarajan 2003 - Polymer the Chameleon Clay by Hughes, Victoria 2002 - The Art of Polymer Clay, Creative Surface Effects by Kato, Donna 2007 - The Art of Polymer Clay by Kato, Donna 1997 - Polymer Clay Inspirations by Kimle, Patricia 2005 - Polymer Clay, The Art of Clay Modeling by Maguire, Mary 1996, 2003 - Polymer Clay Surface Design Recipes by Marshall, Ellen 2005 - Stamping Effects in Polymer Clay by McCall, Sandra 2006 - Foundations in Polymer Clay by McGuire, Barbara 1999 - Creative Stamping in Polymer Clay by McGuire, Barbara 2002 - Creative Ways with Polymer Clay by McMillan, Dotty 2002 - Images on Clay by McNeill, Suzanne 2000 (Can Do Craft Series Booklet featuring Nan Roche and Barbara McGuire) - Images on Clay II by McNeill, Suzanne 2002 (Can Do Craft Series Booklet featuring Barbara McGuire - Stamping Polymer Clay and Wire by McNeill, Suzanne 2002 - Expressions in Clay by McNeill, Suzanne 2003 (Can Do Craft Series Booklet featuring Barbara McGuire - Romantic Brooches Made of Fimo by Meyer, Marlis (Booklet put out by Fimo's German Manufacturer) No Date - The New Clay by Roche, Nan 1991 - Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay by Semanchuk Dean, Irene 2003 - The Weekend Crafter, Polymer Clay by Semanchuk Dean, Irene 2000 - 400 Polymer Clay Designs 2004