Patterns in Polymer: Imprint & Accent Bead Techniques
By Julie Picarello
Gifted by Kalmbach Books
Reviewed by Melissa Conner
The wide world of clay can be somewhat intimidating. Polymer clay can be molded, sculpted, and shaped into just about anything. Perhaps one of the most common uses for clay is in the art of jewelry making, specifically beads. And if you’re looking for a guide into the world of clay beads, look no further than Patterns in Polymer: Imprint & Accent Bead Techniques, by Julie Picarello.
This detailed and colorful book teaches readers how to make beads, how to mix colors, and even reviews basic clay tips and techniques. I loved the section on mixing colors, since I never know how much of each color to add to get the color I want! There are tons of great ideas on which colors go together and helpful tips to keep in mind as you begin mixing your own colors. I definitely marked this page and will be coming back often for all my clay projects!
I also loved the section on imprinting ideas. Who would have thought you could make such cool designs with screws, nails, and frosting tips? Not only does Julie Picarello list a bunch of items that can be used to help enhance your clay projects, but she also shows you what your piece will look like, how to create certain patterns using everyday items, and how to cut out your pieces so the best parts of your patterns are highlighted! I wish I had this book when I made my last clay necklace pendant! There are so many great ideas in here!
In addition to various techniques, Patterns in Polymer also contains 6 beautiful and stunning clay jewelry projects that you can do with ease after mastering her various clay techniques. Each project contains full color step-by-step photos, as well as your color palette and a list of extra tools and supplies you’ll need. Personally I loved the Pendulum Earrings, made with clay circles and little metal washers you can find at the hardware store. You can create them in any color you’d like, and they would look great with everything!
For those who are new to polymer clay, or who are looking for a great book on how to make jewelry, Patterns in Polymer: Imprint & Accent Bead Techniques is a great way to get started.