Polymer Clay for Beginners
Inspiration, techniques, and simple step-by-step projects for making art with polymer clay
by Emily Chen
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 19 Mar 2019 | Archive Date 9 Apr 2019
Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster, Walter Foster Publishing
Polymer Clay for Beginners introduces artists, art hobbyists, and polymer clay enthusiasts to the versatile, accessible polymer clay medium. Because polymer clay does not require the use of a kiln and needs only baking in the oven, it is an easy, approachable art form for even the most inexperienced artist to learn, as well as kids, families, teachers, and anyone else looking for a fun, boredom-busting hobby or craft.
Professional artist and owner of Cat Bear Express, Emily Chen, demonstrates how to make adorable animal figurines, flowers, cookies, cakes, beads, and more through easy step-by-step projects. Each project features colorful, styled photographs demonstrating how finished pieces can be used, displayed, and gifted. A comprehensive tools and materials section and detailed information on techniques, baking, and glazing guide artists in their quest to become polymer clay pros.
A modern approach to sculpture art, polymer clay is the perfect choice for beginners and crafting enthusiasts.
The Art Makers series is designed for beginning artists and arts-and-crafts enthusiasts who are interested in experiencing fun hands-on mediums, including embroidery and papier-mache.
Campaign Focus: The ultimate resource for anyone looking to make and create sculpture art with style and ease.
Key Campaign Activity Art media and academic pitches
Trade/Retail: Finished Advances
Consumer: Pitch to art media and trade outlets, such as Artforum, Artvoices, Make: Magazine, Creative Bloq, Artsy, Artists Magazine. Pitch to craft/jewelry media such as Cloth Paper Scissors, Bead & Button, DIY Network, Martha Stewart, Country Living, etc. Pitch for holiday gift guides (make your own presents) Pitch to youth/teen/family outlets such as Girls Life, Seventeen, Family Circle, etc as simple and safe crafts for kids. Netgalley. Video from author. Leverage any social contacts/social media of author. Pitch with Draw Cute Critters as series.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 41 members
This is a great book for those just starting out in polymer clay. The author has a friendly voice and explains tools and methods in an easy-to-understand way. The projects provided have step-by-step instructions and utilize basic shapes to create a dazzling array of foods, plants, and animals (and they're all stinkin' adorable). Looking forward to sharing this book with my 6 yr. old niece on our next craft day!
I love the simplicity of this book. Simple instructions, step by step photos, not a lot of words to get bogged down in. My daughter loves arts and crafts of all kinds and this is something fun we could do together. I would recommend this to anyone with a small artist in their home!
This book has your basic, easy to obtain, material lists, making this an affordable craft for all. There are many helpful tutorials, and beautiful images, that help inspire and urge you to start creating your own pieces of art . I learned more than a few helpful techniques. Things that I have overlooked in my own polymer art adventures. This is definitely a book worth buying, and would make a beautiful birthday gift for an avid craft lover. Especially those young budding artists.
Emily Chen’s new book from Quarto/Walter Foster Publishing, $19.99, Art Makers Polymer Clay for Beginners delivers exactly as promised. Filled with simple instructions, step-by-step photos, with close up details, it appears impossible not to repeat her stunning results. I am so often let down by art books, that this is a welcome surprise. Chen’s projects are often aimed at kids — fake cookies and sparkly unicorns– but plenty of adults will be drawn to the lessons creating roses and cherry blossoms. While the projects may be more elementary, the skill sets learned are not. These are the basics for any kind of clay art — and will help anyone interested in sculpture to cake decoration.
This book was absolutely adorable. We get high quality, close up photos and great step by step instructions for beginner projects using polymer clay. I'm going out to buy everything needed for a unicorn and put the rest to the test. I can definitely recommend this to you if you'd wanting to dabble and try polymer clay. Great for kids too. Thank you for providing me with a copy.
Emily Chen easily communicates her knowledge of working with polymer clay to those just beginning. Her tips, and step by step instructions are very helpful, and she has a wide array of projects that will appeal to children. My only wish is that she had included a set of projects geared to the adult beginner as well. I know I have to start somewhere, but surely there are easy projects that can be found that appeal to adults. If she included some adult projects, this review would have raised a star. Many thanks to NetGalley and Walter Foster Books for allowing me to review an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
This book is as beautiful as it is informative! My son loves to make figurines with Sculpey and I was hoping to find some tips in this book to help teach him even better technique. Did I ever?! It is great! The projects are definitely geared more towards females and my daughter loved all of the pretty things! I recommend this book to anyone who is starting to use polymer clay and wants to learn more. I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley but my opinions are entirely my own! I would buy the book. It’s that good!
I loved the look of this book! I have tried making polymer clay figures before with very little success – they never look like anything at all, let alone the picture of what it’s supposed to be. This book is a great book for beginners and also for people who have done it before and want some new ideas. There is a comprehensive list of tools and materials that are needed and explanations of the different types of clay that can be used. There are some great ideas that some of the designs could be used as jewellery or even to make keyrings and I would imagine these would be really attractive. It gives clear instructions as to the different techniques that are used, such as mixing colours and is all easily explained with colour pictures. The book even goes as far to give you ‘troubleshooting’ tips so you can work out where you’ve gone wrong (the example of overcooked and burnt clay is usually what I end up with!) The instructions for each project are clear and concise and baking times for the clay are also included. The projects are very good and very realistic (particularly the food!), but I would imagine you will need to have a few goes at it each one to get it anywhere near as good as the ones in the book! There are plenty of examples to try and are separated into different sections of food, animals and plants. I would love to give this another go although it does look really fiddly!! I would imagine small dainty hands would be much better than big chunky ones, but with this great book anyone should be able to give it a go! Would definitely recommend!
I remember as a child having polymer clay and making simple little trinkets, things have come along way in the polymer clay world since then! This book is a great start to learning some simple, and more complicated techniques to get some wonderful results. I don't know what project to start first, eventually i will have them all done as all the projects are lovely. From cakes to unicorns to piggies. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Emily Chen has created a great resource for those wanting to start out creating with polymer clay. The author covers the basics including troubleshooting. Projects are clearly explained and have multiple photos showing each step to enable the crafter to successfully recreate these fun designs. This would be a great starting point for someone new to the craft! Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster and Netgalley the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Such an awesome book! I have been playing with polymer clay for a year now and I've learned a lot from this book. Tips and tricks on how to make it look not so "pushed together". Author explains very well how to make the animals or bead jewelry with step by step instructions and pictures. She also explains paints you can use and how to bake and rebakebif needed. I'm very thankful netgalley and the publisher allowed me to read and review this!
Easy step step by procedures for making some great polymer clay projects. There are useful tips. Projects ranging from Food, Animals, Plants are presented Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the eARC
Art Makers: Polymer Clay for Beginners by Emily Chen As the book states beginners, and it’s a perfect book that I needed to get started in trying my hand at polymer clay objects. Through photos and clearly written directions any beginner can create simple items. The book will take you through types of clay, color adjusting, and blending colors to create with. Also, you’ll learn about the basic tools to use and techniques for forming your clay pieces. This book will take you step by step for making a variety of projects, and finally how to finish your clay piece by baking it. I had a fun time trying out the cow for my first project, and after a few try’s I think it turned out pretty cute. Although I only had pink and purple on hand! I had fun and I think you will too! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #Netgalley
Art Makers: Polymer Clay for Beginners is a terrific introduction to working with polymer clay. Filled with color photographs and basic instructions, the book walks the reader through getting to know the clay to actual projects. The author also includes helpful tips on how to bake your clay, and how to avoid burning your projects, what to do if you see cracks, etc. Once she's taught you the basics, she moves right into the projects. This book includes a lot of projects, divided into sections: food, animals, plants/flowers, and beads. The author shows the step by step instructions, both in words and pictures for each project, and each project is cute and inspiring. If you work through even a few of the projects in this book, you will be much more comfortable working with polymer clay, and much more skilled. I thought this book was an excellent guide to working with polymer clay, and would be a great addition to rainy Sunday afternoon project time with older kids, along with the clay and proper tools, of course. If you have any interest in learning to work with polymer clay, this is a great place to start!
A delightful, educational, step by step how to book on Polymer Clay for Beginners! As someone with absolutely NO experience in polymer clay products, I picked some up at my local craft store and spent several, fun-filled hours making the projects outlined in the book! Kids, as well as adults, will appreciate its contents!
Simply adorable. I loved that the different sections gave you different options so that you could alter your models to be different to every one else's. The steps were easy to follow and had great strong illustrations where you could see what was going on.
I always wanted to learn how to use polymer clay and do so many beautiful things and this book is great for that, It's simple and very useful. Tells you right in the beginning the tools you need to have and even problems you may have, which is great because we see so many tutorials on web where everything is perfect so we don't get to see the beginner's strugles. Using great photos, the author explains step by step how to build the clay figures and gives tips, very easy to follow. This book is really inspiring and the projects seem easy to do. Can't wait to try all this!
I’m a former ceramic major and I’ve dabbled in polymer clay on and off for a while now. When I saw this book, I thought it looked like a great intro to polymer clay and decided to check it out. I love that the opening takes us through the ins and outs of working with polymer clay. It covers important items such as brands of clay, supplies that aid artists and crafters alike, and the sort of things we should look for. For example, every brand of clay has different baking temperatures and times as well as softness. Emily also goes over the main thing that’s needed to create, which is technique. She gives some wonderful and important tips in this regard that will be a big help for new creators. I even learned something new, which is another way to make a gradient between two colors that I’m excited to try out. Of course, time and practice will help all new polymer artists and crafters, but it’s important to learn the basics that everything you make will be built upon. Emily provides some comprehensive techniques and visual aids that are easy to understand and learn. It’s also great that there are several simple and cute projects written and visual tutorials for readers to follow. Each of these projects can also be used as building blocks to other projects thanks to the variety of project tutorials that she included. She also including troubleshooting tips, including what to do if your finished project has a crack in it and how to prevent it in the future. As a crafter myself, I was surprised to learn that there’s liquid polymer clay available as I’ve never seen it while buying supplies, which means it’s just in a different section at my local craft store. I will have to look for it when I am there because it looks like a wonderful addition to this craft. I’m excited about this because it’ll enhance some of my creations! I highly recommend this book for people new to polymer clay as well as anyone looking to add to their collection or pick up some new tips and techniques.
Polymer Clay for Beginners is a perfect book for those who would love to try creating with clay as well as those who have experience with the medium. Emily Chen not only introduces the reader to the tools and materials needed, but she covers a variety of techniques over the course of 15 projects. Beyond the basics, such as the different clays available, baking times, finishes, and a troubleshooting section, Chen provides important tips throughout the book. For example, she recommends feeling the clay in the store before purchasing in order to get a soft, pliable brand or package. She also introduces different materials, such as liquid clay, acrylic paint and chalk pastels, which are ultimately used in some projects. The finished products are adorable and Chen’s love of and enthusiasm for polymer clay is clearly evident. She guides the reader step by step through each project with text and large photos in which he details are easy to see. The 15 projects are divided into the following four sections — Food, Animals, Plants, and Beads. One of my favorite projects was the Fruit Tart which involves making a strawberry cane (i.e., combining clay into a rod shape, then reducing it and slicing off pieces) which was just taught in the previous lesson by making orange slices. The Rainbow Cake looks delicious and Chen explains how to do different versions, such as Chocolate Layer Cake. She also shows how to make the miniature pieces into charms, which is applicable to many of the other projects in the book. Other food to create include Chocolate Chip Cookies, Macarons, and a Swiss Cheese charm. I loved the animal projects. The Pug is precious and I appreciated Chen’s attention to detail — she shows you how to add paw prints to the Pug. The other animals — the Cat, Pig, and Cow — are all very cute and look do-able with Chen’s text and photos showing every step of the way. Chen even shows you how to make a ball of yarn for the little cat. The last animal is a little more of a challenge but it’s worth the extra effort because it’s an exquisite Unicorn. She even shows you how to paint the eyes just right. The plant projects include a succulent, cactus, rose, and cherry blossom. She encourages you along the way and even tells you how to pot your newly created plants. Last, are two different kinds of clay beads to make and form into necklaces. Polymer Clay for Beginners is a great book that provides a wealth of inspiration, instruction and delightful projects that will be fun to create and admire. Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group - Walter Foster Publishers and NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read and review Art Makers: Polymer Clay for Beginners. I truly enjoyed reading and looking at the examples in the book. I personally have no artistic talent and I know my work would look like lumps of clay instead of cute animals. A nice read with simple directions for those with talent.
Art Makers: Polymer Clay for Beginners: Inspiration, techniques, and simple step-by-step projects for making art with polymer clay by Emily Chen is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This gives you a list of tools and tips the reader will need to make a lot of fun projects including food, little animals, and other things like unicorns! I fell in love with the cute little pig the size of the first section of my index finger! So cute and small! Instructions on colors, mixing, making, baking, and coloring your project is included with corresponding pictures. Delightful! I had played with polymer clay before and this book made me want to get back into it! Loved how clear and simple the directions are and all the wonderful projects with pictures!
Art Makers: Polymer Clay for Beginners is a tutorial guide to working with polymer clay by Emily Chen, the sculptor behind CatBearExpress. Released 19th March 2019 by Quarto on their Walter Foster imprint, it's 128 pages and available in paperback format. Everyone is familiar with polymer clay. It's available at crafts and big-box retailers, by mail order, and I've even seen it at some larger grocery stores. The disconnect comes when you get your little packages of plastic home and try to make something. Even with the best intentions, none of my creations bore the slightest resemblance to the pictures I had up in my head. I needed a step-by-step tutorial, and this is a really good one. I'm definitely a process based learner, so this book was perfect for me. The photographs are crisp and clear, the steps are very well delineated, and the projects are super cute and appealing (see the cover). There are a wide variety of subject tutorials; florals, fantasy animals, food, pets, etc. This would make an amazing activity guide for scouts, church or library kid groups, or classroom art guide. I'm a middle aged adult and I am absolutely going to use the tutorials here to make myself some charms for my embroidery scissors and needle minders. This is a wonderfully inspiring book which has my fingers itching to get started! Five stars.
This book rates as a 4 for me because while the information is approachable and the exercises useful, I found the book to be a little too short. I'm new to working with polymer clay and the book didn't seem to broach any of the mistakes that beginners usually make. For example, how do I avoid fingerprints in my clay? I would have liked a touch more detail. The artist that wrote this book is very talented, however, and the photography in the book is stunning.
This is a lovely book with clear instructions for getting started in working with polymer clay. The book has full color pictures and step-by-step instructions for several projects, including attractive food, animals, beads and plants. The little cacti were particularly interesting as it could be hard to tell them from real cacti at a glance, though I have to admit that it was the unicorn on the cover that really attracted me. There is plenty of information on materials, techniques, tools for the job and methods for detail decoration. Trouble shooting problems with heating and how to fix any that arise also features. All in all I think it's an excellent beginner's book on the craft and I plan to master the art of filling my house with unicorns! Variations in colors and glittering materials are suggested in the pictures and should be loads of fun to explore. The only thing that could have improved it would be to have a dragon design as well!
I loved this book! I can’t wait to get my clay and begin my projects. Kudos, Ms. Chen! This book begins with the tools need to make figurines with polymer clay. It discusses the differences in brands of clay and how they corollate with the type of paint used. Who knew you could get by with a needle, a toothpick as a beginner?! It shows not only the shapes of rolled clay but how to combine different colors. The step by step pictures are ingenious. I could see how they began to form together. How much or how little blending a project requires could easily be ascertained. The baking guidelines of different types of clay and project was discussed. The contained food, animals, plants and beads is vast and filled with variety. They are all cute and look like fun to make. I can’t wait. I received an ARC from Quarto Publishing Group through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book.
I love how accessible this book is! It states it is a book for beginners and it really is aimed at supporting you through using polymer clay right from the very beginning! This book enables everyone to begin to not only use polymer clay but also to be aware of the different sorts of clay, how to choose the right clay for you, what tools to use for detailing, the shapes you can make with polymer clay that will be used throughout the book, baking the clay and troubleshooting before then leading onto projects. The information is very well laid out and is easy to understand. I would recommend this book for children and adults of any age!
Ohmigoodness, this book made me go out and immediately get some polymer clay to start learning again. I have done a little bit in the past, but nothing quite as detailed or cute as the stuff in this book. Chen breaks down the different kinds of polymers and how to set them, so that beginners have a great guide book for even the baseline things that one really must know. Each of the projects is step-by-step gone through, including step-by-step photos so you can really see what yours should look like after each step.
Netgallery provided me with a digital ARC, all opinions are my own. Be warned if you are starting from scratch there is a high initial cost, but this is normal for any hobby. I like that Emily Chen included a table of contents, it is broken up into different themes so there is a lot of variety. There is even a section that introduces different techniques. The only thing with that is the average person isn't going to go back and forth between sections to look it up. I also double checked and in the ebook version certain apps do not make the table of contents easily accessible. One think I also noticed that is unique to the ebook I'm sure is that sometimes the text doesn't always line up with the right picture. I do appreciate that she broke each section up by difficulty. She doesn't out right label it but the projects get harder as you move through each one. Personally I would recommend getting a hard copy of this book, stay away from the digital format.
I would like to thank Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster for providing me with a free – temporary – electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Although I’m auto-approved with this publisher, the decision to read this book is entirely my choice and any reviews given are obligation free. Okay, I have to start by saying that the majority of this rating comes from the amazing talent of Ms Chen when it comes to polymer clay creations. The amount of time and detail that she puts into colour blending the clays for things like strawberries – wow! It might be polymer clay to some, but that is amazing and talented art to me. This was a great book. Some step by step project ideas that are, for the most part, very basic. And the stuff that isn’t as basic is still doable for the beginner wanting to try something a little trickier – see the colour blending. It has everything you need to know to get started. From the types of clay and their baking times, the tools needed, and the finishing ideas, etc. It is a great little, all-round helpful book. The projects suggest are cute, something I think most people would want to try and in the same way so creative that it is something that lovers of polymer clay would then love to wear. It’s not as if you’re about to be shown how to make something you’d never wear. I would… but I am a tad eccentric. ;-) I will say I did have an issue trying to review ‘Art Makers Polymer Clay for Beginners’ though and that was the layout and formatting. I am going to assume that the final edit created for print/ paperback book will look fine. But it was obviously not formatted to be easily read as an ASCM of PDF document. The formatting was clunky and all over the place, I had to try both my laptop and tablet to try and read it and, if it wasn’t for my love of polymer clay critters, I might have just given up trying to review it as the copy was just so hard to read. So if there are bad reviews for this book, based merely on Netgalley electronic ARC, I wouldn’t be surprised. I simply tried to look past the bad formatting for electronic viewing and am just going to assume the paper versions is a lot better. Due to this I did not let the poor formatting lower my rating. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I would. It is, as it clearly states, a book for beginners. And I think something those aged 10 and over would enjoy. I could easily see myself and my 12 year old artist in residence enjoying this book together. I would warn people about the formatting though, and strongly recommend they only buy it in paper format and only after being able to see inside to ensure it’s all clear and easy to follow. Would I buy this book for myself? Yes I could. See my above comment about my child and I spending an afternoon making polymer clay creations. I mean, I am not a fan of cutesy unicorns, but could still see myself trying the ones in the book just to get a feel for that level of work. That says a lot, if I want to make a cutesy unicorn! :-D In summary: A great little beginners book on how to make some simply and fun polymer clay creations.
Been wanting to get into polymer clay for a little while now and this is such a good guide for it! It's non-intimidating and breaks it down simply yet not patronisingly. Worth the read!
It's a book of cute polymer clay figures to make for the beginner, which seems quite similar to making figures for cake making with royal icing, though these have to be baked in the oven. This would be a great book for children and adults alike to get started. The tools recommended seem inexpensive to get you started, and the book provides 4 sections of figures to make: food, animals, plants and beads. There are around 15 projects to do, with rainbow cakes, pugs, unicorns, cacti and beads for making a necklace. The book has easy to follow steps, with lots of colour photography to show you what to do. A couple of the projects are turned into charms. The only thing I felt missing perhaps is the amount of clay required; it should be given in grams rather than just small and large amounts, and what size the finished figure would be. I received this book from netgalley in return for a honest review.
A nice book for beginners and those who have some more experience with using polymer clay. Nice set up to show how to make the projects shown.
This is a very cute book and would be great for beginners such as myself as well as people who have used polymer clay before. The clear, step by step, instructions make this a great book for beginners. Some projects are very detailed and therefore would be great for those with some experience with polymer clay, and will help them expand their skill set. Categories included food, animals, and plants. I’m partial to the animal category and would like to start with the pig and eventually move my way up to the adorable unicorn. I am looking forward to trying my hand at polymer clay and think this would be a fun craft to try with my children.
AHHH. THIS BOOK IS SO CUTE. I wish I would have read it like five years ago when I was a huge fan of clay(I used to use air dry clay because it was easier to find it in my city). It's not that I don't like it anymore but I lost my skills. However, I wish I would have read it before because the pictures were soooo big and the instructions so clear (there's not chitchat, yay) that I finally understood how to make a fruit cane and a cake (without watching a 10 minute video!!). The exercises were really easy, perfect for beginners, and you can find an introduction to methods and materials too.
Art Makers by Emily Chen is a terrific book for the beginner polymer clay crafter. It's like a recipe book for clay creations. Emily tells you exactly what types of clay, colors and tools to use to create each item in this book and she explains precisely how to use each tool, and your hands to obtain the desired effect. I am a total beginner and found this book to be very helpful. #ArtMakers:PolymerClayForBeginners #netgalley #reviewathon