I’ve been around the polymer clay world for over 20 years. In the beginning of my experience as a clayer, our corner of the art world was filled with excitement. It often felt like a race. Designers were intent on exploring and mapping the possibilities of this wonderful medium. We were interested in developing the next new technique, the next application of principles and materials from other media into our beloved polymer clay. My first book in 2004, Polymer Clay Inspirations, was a compilation and review of my own design developments and techniques that I had begun publishing in magazines. My second book, Perfectly Paired: Designing Jewelry with Polymer and Metal Clay, similarly explored new territory in the combination of metal clay and polymer clay.
I have noticed a shift in emphasis among the polymer clay community over the last several years. We are no longer in a rush to come up with some new technique, but rather to develop expertise. We have come to terms with the maxim that “the medium is not the message;” what’s important is the personal style, the design, the expression. On the web in review sites like PCD, Pinterest, Polymer Archive, and others, I find good design and personal expression is more often the focus of interest. Beginners and newcomers to polymer clay must travel over the same information and techniques that we covered in the 90’s. The techniques are not so new or innovative, but the work I appreciate demonstrates good design and excellent craftsmanship.
These are the sort of ruminations I went through in planning my most recent book project. I was asked by my editor at Kalmbach to do a polymer basics book focused on caning. It is tentatively called “Designing Polymer Clay Canes.” It was to be appropriate for the beginner level. I knew that it wouldn’t be a book where I would introduce radically new design possibilities or new techniques, but it should demonstrate good design and excellent craftsmanship.
I turned in my manuscript at the end of February and the book will be available in 2013. I really enjoyed this project and I share here a sneak peek of some of the projects…
I'm really looking forward to seeing the proofs of this book later this year. I love Kalmbach books. Their editors and designers are wonderful, and the design and layout of their books are always beautiful.