Sunday, November 26, 2017

Book review - Polymer, the Chameleon Clay by Victoria Hughes

Polymer - The Chameleon Clay: ArtRanch Techniques for Re-creating the Look of Ivory, Jade, Turquoise, and Other Natural Materials

The absolute pioneer in imitative techniques, Victoria Hughes' book remains the ABC for all polymer clay artists. The techniques described in the book actually look better now than they looked over 15 years ago because of the changes in formulas in the various brands of polymer clay - the faux amber will look more translucent, the faux agate absolutely stunning, and the faux jade impossible to distinguish from real jade unless touched and weighed.

The first part of the book is a treasure of tips, tricks and advice - taking you from the very beginning, tools needed, how to condition your clay, to the finesse details of finishing and putting together your pieces. The second part has imitative techniques and a project for each of them. As a bonus, the book has many examples of artwork belonging not only to Victoria Hughes but to other artists as well.

Imitative techniques described in the book:

- Turquoise nugget beads
- Lapis-lazuli - still remains the basic technique for imitating this semi-precious gemstone - the only variances I've seen in present day tutorials are just mildly tweaking the color recipes used
- Coral - absolutely perfect
- Amber - try it with the Cernit translucent or Pardo translucent for stunningly realistic faux stones.
- Ivory - the project for this technique is beautiful
- Agate - still one of the best methods out there, I have seen many tutorials that are inspired from it but very few get to her mastery
- Metals and Faience - gorgeous projects

The book ends with another series of projects for an intermediate level of mastery. All gorgeous.
A must have.

The book can be find used for a very affordable price.

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