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The Art of Polymer Clay -Millefiori Techniques
Donna Kato is a legend in polymer clay, her gorgeous beads are coveted and collected for their intricate canework, and as you'd expect, her 3rd book, The Art of Polymer Clay- Millefiori Techniques is incredibly well written with beautiful photographs.
When you make a cane, it's the same design all the way through, and you cut off slices of the cane to decorate your items with. That's the emphasis of the book, making gorgeously detailed canes to decorate polymer clay items with.
The introduction chapters have a lot of information about the different clays, working with them, and tools that come in handy for creating canes. She introduces you to cutters, bead rollers, extruders, and racks. She also explains the best methods for curing pieces, how to keep harmful fumes out of your oven if you are curing in your home oven, and tells you about specialty tools and methods for curing beads so they don't wind up with a shiny spot on them. She also briefly covers the best way to finish a project, and what sorts of glues to use.
After you get through all the information in the first 30 pages, she goes on to explain some of the history of millefiori, which in Italian means "thousand flowers", originally a technique for glass cane work, it's translates into working with polymer clay in a great way. Polymer clay canes are a lot easier to build than glass canes, and you can get an almost painterly effect with shading by blending clays. She explains very well color blending, color theory, and how contrast can affect a piece.
Then she goes into really simple canes, and explains reducing, which is how you start with a short fat cane put together almost like a mosaic, and make it a long thin cane with that same design all the way through it.
After that, it's the yummy part of the book, the inspirational part. Projects using what you have learned. The projects build on each other, so if you are an absolute beginner to working with canes, and work them in order, you'll find you've built skill sets for the next project, and the projects themselves are brightly colored, satisfying, and inspirational. You'll get lots of ideas for what you can do with what's you've learned.
In short, I love this book, and think it's well worth buying if you're interested in polymer clay.
And if you're a more visual learner, this is Donna Kato's DVD on millefiori techniques.
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