Artist Level: Just beyond beginner to advanced.
Sue does take a few pages to introduce tools, clays, and paints, but it is brief. There are a lot of varied techniques in the book that do give enough information for a beginner to try them and be successful, but I think it would help to have a little bit of context and experience with the medium for the techniques to really inspire.
Presentation and content
Sue has broken the book into logical sections like ‘Manipulating the Clay’ and ‘Sculpting’. Each section has some number of techniques. Each technique is a minimum of a full page; some are as many as four pages. All of the techniques have an “inspirational” project that is fun to look at it. I find the projects used to demonstrate the technique are generally sufficient, compete with progress images and descriptions of the steps used.
This book covers a LITTLE bit of a LOT of ground. I think it is safe to say that any artist that purchases this book will find that some of the techniques don’t apply to their own style or artist goals; however, there are a lot of really good tips in most of the techniques that could apply to a lot of situations outside of the sample project. I read through almost all of the techniques, even the ones I knew I would likely not ever use and picked up good seeds of ideas.
Recommendation – BUY IT!
If you’re in the market for a good reference book or something to start the idea machine churning, I think The Polymer Clay Techniques Book has a lot to offer. Sue touches on most of the uses for polymer from miniatures to millefiori and everything in between. It is not going to make you a master of all things polymer, but it will certainly get you started.
This book was published quite a bit ago, but is still in print and readily available new and pre-read at Amazon.