Editing the POLYinforMER can be a whole lot of fun.
Like the day I received a box of four videotapes from
MindStorm, each featuring Donna Kato! While I don't
get to keep them — they were graciously donated
to the Guild — I do get to see them first, lucky
Instructional videos are the next best thing to being
there, in a classroom with your favorite artist. They
make great gifts, and are a fun way to introduce beginners
to the wonders of polymer clay. Local guilds can view
them together for an entertaining clay day; polymer
clay teachers can use them to brush up their own presentations;
and better than driving the instructor crazy, you can
keep rewinding it until you "get it." This
latest set from MindStorm's Master Artisan Series is
as nicely packaged and professionally produced as the
rest of the line. Each tape retails for $24.95.
As I viewed the tapes, I was impressed by the careful
balance Kato strikes between project-oriented and technique-oriented
material. Those who need to see a completed project
in order to visualize the end result could work through
the instructions from start to finish and happily compete
jewelry or home decor items. An experienced viewer could
pick up the new techniques just by watching, then apply
them to her own work. I consider myself a middling-level
clayer, but still benefited from a number of tips and
shortcuts from even the beginner tapes.
As a polymer clay instructor, I liked Kato's clear,
concise explanations of techniques and polymer clay
concepts. Her delivery is very calm and relaxed throughout.
As a matter of fact, that might be only complaint: Kato's
voice is so soft and soothing, I was lulled right into
a nap on one occasion. After that, I learned to watch
sitting up, not lying on the couch.
Introduction to Polymer
Clays features color mixing, push molds, photocopy
transfer, figurines, millefiori and mosaic techniques.
(56 minutes) Learn how to make a simple lime cane, sculpt
a bear, create molds, simulate stone, decorate with
mosaics, transfer images, plus many other easy to follow
techniques and projects.
Potpourri of Techniques
features five techniques: mokume gane, crushed ikat,
marbled paper, kaleidoscope and jellyroll cane. (45
minutes) Learn these five techniques developed or modified
by Donna Kato. Includes jewelry and home decor projects.
features jellyroll, checkerboard, quilt, stained glass,
flower and watermelon canes. (45 minutes) Learn how
to simulate stained glass or batik fabric; make jellyrolls
and rainbow checkerboard patterns, create a flower cane,
then reduce it; and for fun, how to make a watermelon.
The cane slices are then applied to a finished project
— Donna's special stubby pen.
features four vessel types and six surface treatments.
(50 minutes) Learn to create free-form vessels as well
as covering rigid forms. The vessels projects are then
embellished with carvings, woven patterns, molded impressions,
gold leaf, patina and stone effects.