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Clay Art for All Seasons: A Guide to Soft Clay Art Spiral-bound – December 28, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
I first saw her on a recent episode of The Martha Stewart Show and she was displaying the incredible lifelike floral peices that she made using soft clay. In and of itself, soft clay is a great medium, but to be able to mold it and arrange it and ply it into bouquets of flowers bursting with colors is where the title of "artist" comes about. The arrangements she created looked real, and that's the beauty of knowing how to mold and shape this clay.
To begin, getting a hold of a copy of this book required Herculean efforts. Amazon initially didn't have this, so I placed myself on the waiting list. In trying the local bookstore giants, I had to place my name on their waiting list as well. Fortunately, there was a brief window of availability from our friends here at Amazon, and I seized it, and the book, but it's become "unavailable" once again. Therefore my advice is when you see a copy anywhere, grab it! If all other avenues fail, you could try the Deco Art website, and purchase directly from the company.
The book itself is hardcover with a spiral spine. The layout and look is soft and pastel, as are all the breathtaking arrangements. The photography is superb, detailed, and all shots are close-up. You will have a hard time realizing that what you're looking at, is what can be transformed from clay. The education you will receive begins.......
INTRODUCTION: Yukiko describes how her gifted mother began this art form through years of trial and error until she found the right consistency of this medium. Then her mom began classes and workshops and as Yukiko grew up, she learned and expanded this art form to where it is today.
GETTING STARTED: Basic materials, tools, and other materials.
WORKING WITH THE CLAY: How to use the basic techniques to shape the clay and make the stems and leaves, as well as how to attach the flowers to the stems.
COLOR MIXING: How to take basic colors of clay and by incorporating other colors with it, in small amounts, make primary and pastel colors.
FLOWERS: Through the use of molds, the real fun begins with making roses, plumeria, daffodils, gerbera daisies, lilacs, hibiscus, peonies, orchids, stephanotis, pakalana (for lei's), calla lilies, poinsettia's, long stem roses, decorative topping for a gift box, decorated eggs, a "basket", chicks and bunnies, lei's, haku lei's (for wearing as a crown), hand-tied bouquets (one of my favorites), a "dress" for a shadow box, pumpkins, trick or treat bag, wreaths, and Santa ornaments.
Each of these projects have step-by-step photographs with detail so there is plenty of direction; it would be hard to error. And again, the arrangements are so spectacular, you will be quite please with your efforts, when they turn out just like the photograph.
And all the tools and products you need can be purchased easily through the company, and its website, which is located in Hawaii. So you would be hardpressed to find an excuse not to attempt these gorgeous projects, though they are time-intensive. Actually, if you could become skilled enough to make these lifelike clay bouquets, the possiblility of a business that caters to those who would like to keep their flowers and bouquets (brides for one) would be a good one.
Enjoy the fun ! Peace!
If you are very creative and can use the combination of the pictures and the few steps they give you then, this book will work for you. If you absolutely need step by step and some guidance then I suggest you find their website and take classes.
Just a warning... the book is not entirely about flowers. She shows you how to make decorations, hearts, bunnies, baskets etc.
If this is something you are looking into, just be forewarned that this can get expensive. I am no where near CA or Hawaii. I could not find the clay without ordering it. Which means you are going to need the leaf and petal mold. And the deco sticks. It starts to add up.
I did buy porcelain white air dry clay to try it that way too. I made the Cala Lily. With only having white, I used yellow polymer clay for the stamin, and green for the stem. It turned out REALLY nice! I was very pleased.
The shadow box bride's gown would make the perfect shower or wedding gift.
The pictures of the final product are awesome, the instructions are both read and visual. Simple too.
Another thing I like, the book is fun to read. Not boring instructional kind.
The book will get you very excited to create with clay.
And best of all there are clear and concise instructions for reproducing the flowers and figures. The step-by-step instructions have both text and corresponding close-up photograph. The only thing lacking are instructions on how the finish the flowers with stems and leaves. It looks like the flowers are meant for arrangements were stems are not necessary.
Also, the artist uses air died clay throughout the book, but I was able to make my flowers in both polymer clay and gumpaste without any problems. The instructions and techniques in the book are transferable to other mediums.
So if you want to make realistic flowers outof clay or gumpaste, this is a great resource.