Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A little this, a little that

I've been reading. In fact, instead of putting my craft supplies away in the basement that I brought from Dana's or ripping and rolling material to take to Dana's, I sat and read two books yesterday. Unlike the other day, I actually stopped to get the proper information about these books.

The first one is called Creating With Polymer Clay written by Steven Ford and Leslie Dierks, (Lark Books, 1996). Like many craft books, there were numerous contributing artists: 51 to be exact, many of them contributing more than one project. In fact, the first 30 pages were devoted to various artist contributions. This was appropriately called "The Gallery."
(see below for a bit of a rant)

The tools were easy to see, and tool descriptions were easy to read. Even though the tools look all spread out on the page, they were easy to identify from the information below the photo. Likewise, the text on the left was easy to follow, too.

You must remember that this book was written in 1996, so there isn't a whole lot in it that you can't find on the web today. Although I really didn't learn anything new, the detailed photos stepped you through several stunning projects, and the Gallery offers new and experienced polymer clay artists some inspirational eye candy. It was a fun read and, since I've never made a cane in my life, it was fun to watch how one is made. It sure makes me want to get out my clay and play.

The second book I read yesterday was called The Metal Craft Book written by Janice Eaton Kilby and Deborah Morgenthal (Lark Books, 2000). Unlike the previous book, this one's contributors were broken into Contributing Designers (25) and Gallery Designers (21).
(see below for a bit of a rant)

There are five pages of tools and each one has the same hodge podge look. It is a bit hard to distinguish the various tools on the pages because they are shown in the top (right side of this page), then drawn with numbers attached below, and the name of the tool in a sidebar of a different color.

I love working in metal, but, after reading this book, realize I need a lot more tools than I have. All of the projects are supposed to be easy, but some look really complicated to me. Further, there were no step by step, or step out photos. Only four of the projects had patterns which showed bends and designs. Since I'm a visual learner, it was hard for me to follow a few of the steps in some of the projects. Even though this book is sorely lacking in some areas, and it is 10 years old (what do you expect from the library?), it is well worth seeing if your library carries it.

I guess you saw the *(see below for a bit of a rant). Did you realize that many craft books now days are written by one or two people, usually the second author being someone from the publishing house, as well as many contributors? As a rule, these contributors are not paid for their art, and some may not even be able to retain rights to their original designs or patterns. Some contribute for exposure, others because they are friends with the author. But, unless your name is on the book cover, you don't get a whole lot of credit. I learned this recently and thought I should pass it on, in case any of you get asked to contribute to a craft book or other collaborative printed work.

Returning to art, I made this collage yesterday between books. I just had to get away from my Hands AB and Altered Recipe book. They were limiting my creativity. I am now trying new techniques and compositions. I even used a rubber stamp on this one! I used a few more pieces from my overgrown scrap pile, and used a semi-Teesha Moore inspired frame. It is my second bricolage and I call it "Inspire," something I hope my blog does for you.

Today's blog belongs to Bridgette Guerzon Mills at Contemplating the Moon. She is a mixed media artist who paints in acrylics and encaustics. She was also in a collaboration with Seth Apter of The Altered Page, again, one of my favorite artists. Bridgette's last post was about having contractions. She is pregnant and may not be posting as much as she usually does. So, before she stops posting altogether (at least until she has her baby and her life settles a bit), I wanted to introduce you to her art.

Have an inspired day.

8 thoughtful remarks:

Diane said...

What a Great collage--it's better to view the close-up to see all the details, and yes, your blog inspires us!

Marilyn Rock said...

Great books! I have the metal one but yet to sit down and read it :) It's on my someday list. Lovely collage, too. Enjoy your day Elizabeth! xxoo

Tess said...

Wow, your library has some really neat books. And the collage...Love it!
Have a great day,

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Love your collage, the colors and flow are wonderful!
I am the worst at sitting down and actually "reading" books, also being a visual learner, I usually browse the photos ... read just a couple of how to steps and then put the book down ...that doesn't stop me from enjoying books, it just always seems like I'm missing something LOL :)
Happy Tuesday E!

SharDon Exclusives said...

Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment. Yes, Carol Anne is a sweetheart and I have been with her since the beginning of my blogging. I am so glad she won my followers giveaway.
I will be back,
thanks again,

Seth said...

I love your bricolage. And so glad I was able to enlarge it to see the detail. And I second your thoughts about Bridgette's work. Having seen many pieces in person I can tell you that they are sensational and very soulful! And, btw, thanks for what you said about me as well :-)

bridgette said...

Thank you so much for featuring my blog! I really appreciate it. I hope to get back to creating and posting soon.....well, at least sooner than later. Thanks again.

Carol Anne's Boutique said...

Hi Elizabeth, I just love your collage, it is so beautiful!! The colors you chose are wonderful...love that red! I have always wanted to learn how to use polymer clay, I think it would be so much fun to try. Will have to check our library for the book you have.
Thanks so much for sharing! :)
Hugs, Carol Anne