Tag Archives: polymer clay

Making Artists’ Books with Polymer Clay – A New Class at Palo Alto Art Center

I’ve been fascinated by the possible uses of polymer clay in artists books since I first used it for the jesters hat on my artists’ book King George.

My next use of polymer clay was as candy piece covers for my artists’ book Love/Chocolate:

Now, in preparation for teaching a class through Palo Alto Art Center, I’ve made sample books with polymer clay covers, decorative medallions and entire books made only from polymer clay. I’ve found it to be a flexible and interesting medium and one that allows me to create almost anything I can imagine for artists’ books.

The first book, Tropical Dreams, has a polymer clay medallion mounted on the cover of an accordion book. The clay medallion was made using a series of fondant (like for cake icing) molds and then glazed with a satin glaze after baking.

The second book, Lace Journal, was made by debossing the lace pattern into the clay using a pasta press and then emphasizing the pattern with fluid chalks. The polymer clay panels are then glued onto a pamphlet stitched book made of Rives BFK.

The last book, Tea at Grandmother’s,  is made entirely of polymer clay panels. After marbling two colors of purple with some green clay, I cut out 6 panels and baked them. I stamped the black images onto the clay using Staz-On ink and baked the panels again. To make the images part of the panels I painted them with liquid clay, which turned translucent after a third baking. Finally, I cut black panels the same size as the original marbled panels and embedded, between the sets of panels, two black ribbons the length of the book. The black ribbon acts as hinges for the finished accordion and went through the final baking process just fine.

There are so many more techniques to play with, I can hardly wait! I think a 5 week class is going to fly by and leave us wanting more time to play with the clay. If you’re interested, the 5-week class runs on Wednesdays from July 6th to August 3rd, you can sign up for the class through Palo Alto Art Center by going to their website: http://enjoyonline.cityofpaloalto.org/Activities/ActivitiesDetails.asp?ProcessWait=N&aid=16471 or by calling 650-463-4900.