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Book review: Polymer clay

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This is the first in an occasion series of post where London Jewellery School staff, tutors and perhaps even students tell us about their favourite jewellery books or review new ones. Today’s post is from Emily Jones, the school’s deputy manager and a self-confessed polymer clay addict.

I love making jewellery and other things with polymer clay. It is a really colourful, fun and versatile medium to work with, but best of all it is relatively inexpensive compared to silversmithing or metal clay.

I have learnt most of what I know about working with polymer clay from these two brilliant books.

The Art and Craft of Polymer Clay  by Sue Heaser

This is the first ever polymer clay book I picked up and reading it quickly cemented my love for this medium, as well as making me eager to buy some clay and get making.

Sue Heaser explains a variety of techniques from the basics to more advanced including simulations, inclusions and sculpting. There are a lots of great projects to try, several of which I have done and do come out in accordance with the photos (my skills aren’t quite equal to Heaser’s, but even so, the results are reassuringly similar).

What is great about The Art and Craft of Polymer Clay is that Heaser also explains about the different types of clay available, tools, equipment and other materials that you can use with polymer clay.

The Basic Technique section is really clear and well laid out with the combination of step-by-step instructions and accompanying images. The colour-mixing page is also great as is the description of how to blend colours.

I have no qualms in recommending this book to anyone and would give it 5/5
The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques  by Donna Kato

Donna Kato is such a fan of polymer clay that she developed her own version Kato Polyclay.

The best thing about this book is that it is written by a true polymer clay artist.

At the beginning she goes into detail on the ‘characteristics of polymer clay’, explaining about the different polymer clay brands and how they can be used together.

The joy of this book lies in the detailed Millefiori techniques – as well as the variety of cane ideas/techniques – including kaleidoscope, checkerboard and tiles. Like Heaser’s book, it made me want to get making, so this book became a happy addition to my polymer clay library. This is a great source of inspiration and I would give it 4/5 –  in some places it isn’t as easy to follow as Heaser’s and it is possibly not for the beginner, but definitely has projects to aspire to.

London Jewellery School has both of these books in our library, so if you would like to have a look through before purchasing your own copy, please do come and have a look, Mon – Sun, 10-5pm. If you have a specific book in mind that you want to look at, it would be worth calling us on 020 3176 0546 before you come in, to check whether it is being used in a class.

And if you want to share a review of an inspirational jewellery book, drop an email to press@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk.