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high5 polymer clay: ancient modern review

We are midway through the week-long series, High5 Polymer Clay.  If you are new to polymer clay – if I’ve piqued your interest and you are ready to explore the medium – be sure to look at some of the books, DVDs and resources listed in the sidebar.

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[private_archives]Ancient Modern: Polymer Clay + Wire Jewelry is a good place to start.  Ronna Sarvas Weltman has written a book that is a safe haven for artists to put perfection aside for a moment, experiment with the two mediums and maybe even draw out your inner jewelry designer in the process.


Ancient Modern: Polymer Clay + Wire Jewelry

Of particular interest to anyone interested in making jewelry are her tips about the mechanics of design – how to make a piece wearable and comfortable.  In addition to the 15 projects in the book, there is a clear, concise Coiling Wire Chart to help you determine how much wire is needed when making uniform coils.

But wait, there is more…


Nightfall in Mozambique, polymer clay, wire

I’ve had the pleasure of watching Ronna grow as an artist over the last three years and getting to know this lovely, generous, upbeat soul has been a special treat for me.  Ronna introduced herself (via email) in the early days of Daily Art Muse, when this blog was known as Polymer Clay Notes.  She was often inspired by the art I posted here and we made a precious connection as we forged ahead on our individual paths.  Some time later, when she told me she was writing a book that would marry polymer clay and wire with her primitive, organic style I knew it would be a hit, and it is – Ancient Modern, released by Interweave Press in June 2009, is already in its second printing.


Why is it so popular?  In Ancient Modern, Ronna makes polymer clay accessible for people who might be intimidated to try it and for those just beginning their exploration of this versatile medium.  She has impeccable taste, a strong eye for design and a bold, organic, joyful sensibility to her style.

I would categorize this as a book for beginners, but I will qualify that by saying it is one of the most sophisticated beginner books I’ve seen. The layout is crisp.  The instructions clear.  The photographs stunning. While the polymer clay techniques are not new to me, Weltman’s application is fresh and beautifully articulated. I have been working with polymer clay for several years and I still found enough in the pages of this book that sparked my imagination to easily recommend it as a valuable resource for intermediate level clayers.


So Much And More, extruded polymer clay, wire

I caught up with Ronna last month and had the opportunity to see many of the pieces from the book. All comfortable, wearable and lightweight. I’m intrigued by the simplicity of the extruded clay bracelet pictured above.  The bracelet was surprisingly flexible when I put it on and I immediately began pondering how I could use this technique in other ways. Once I have a place to work again (soon) I will experiment with a few ideas that are taking form based on what I learned from the book (I’ll post them here – promise!).


Three Ring Circus, polymer clay, wire

Ancient Modern: Polymer Clay + Wire Jewelry offers ideas, tips and inspiration to both beginners and seasoned polymer clay artists – I recommend it as a permanent addition to your library.


Want one?  Click on the link in the sidebar to purchase the book from Amazon.

Ronna Sarvas Weltman’s website

More images of the book on the Interweave Press website

Want to know how to get published?  Weltman will present Get Published! at the February 2010 Synergy2 Conference

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5 Responses to high5 polymer clay: ancient modern review

  1. When I saw Ronna’s book on Amazon I had to have it even though I had no desire or experience with polymer; beading was my thing. But the images of Ronna’s work reached out and drew me in like a fish on a hook. The book didn’t disappoint me – it was everything the incredible photography promised it would be AND MORE. A while later I was lucky enough to participate in one of her workshops and that’s where my love affair with polymer began. Sometime in the near future, I plan on marrying my new and old love together…polymer and beads. Thanks for the endless samples of inspiring possibilities! This blog is now on my watch list!

  2. Well, you have sold me on getting the book, it sounds brilliant – will be leaving a note for Father Christmas to hopefully get it for me – I’ve been a good girl all year!!

    Thanks for posting – I am enjoying this High Five week so much!

  3. I’m all signed up for Synergy2 and Ronna’s course. I’m sure it will be just as inspiring as her lovely book – which is sitting right next to me for frequent perusal!

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