Polymer Journeys is the brainchild of Sage Bray, Editor of The Polymer Arts magazine which the book was conceived alongside over a five year period. For three of those five years a board of curators: Anke Humpert, Cara Jane Hayman, Christi Freisen, Debbie Crothers and Iris Mishly; polymer artists renowned within the polymer clay community have worked with Sage to research and communicate with other artists and to evaluate and advise on the artwork that features in the book.
Like The Polymer Clay Arts magazine the book is not pitched at those looking for tutorials or techniques but rather aims to show what can be achieved by those who really hone their skills and innovate to give polymer clay it’s place as a serious art form.
“Our primary goal was to stick with artists whose work has some focus on innovations or who are doing things that cannot be done with any other medium. We also wanted to show how polymer is being used by artists to express themselves”. Sage Bray
The book showcases work from many artists and covers a broad and varied spectrum of technique and design aesthetic.
The ‘Journey’ theme (explained fully in the editors introduction) creates a number of threads within the book beginning with the Foreword by Cynthia Tinnapple who details the development of polymer clay art to the current day and questions the possibilities for the future.
This book is also much more than just a gallery of beautiful work because each submission includes the artists own description of their background and inspiration, sometimes with sketches and studio shots that allow us an insight into their own creative journeys. For me, getting to see something of the background and working process of an artist makes the interaction much more rewarding. I also know that some of the the most popular posts with AJE readers are those where we as authors open up and share with them so I’m particularly pleased to see it here too.
The way the book is laid out takes the reader on a journey moving from a section on globally recognised artists, to those who have given back to the community and then on to a geographical tour of current artists with sublime talents and it flows very well.
I’m doing this review from a digital copy of the book so I can’t comment on the physical feel but I can say it is loaded with stunning illustrations of work which, for someone like me who is new to the medium and uses it fairly simplistically in my mixed media work is almost beyond comprehension. Organic, architectural, urban, mixed media or pure polymer clay – it’s all here in forms that I would have never envisaged possible with this medium.
I could go on a lot longer about this book but since its enjoyment is largely from a visual perspective I don’t know that I would add much more of value. I think think the book has an obvious appeal to anyone currently working in polymer clay and/or mixed media but more than that, it will appeal hugely to anyone with an interest in texture, colour and form and in pushing the boundaries of their own work, whatever the medium. I certainly found it very inspirational and see it becoming one of those books that will get pulled from my bookcase time after time when my own creative muse needs waking up or I just need to look at something lovely…my hard copy is on order.
“I send out this book, my own attempt to have an impact on the lives of others through a concept that I hope will be a vehicle for a wider and deeper appreciation of this young medium and the artists that bravely test its limits and their own”. Sage Bray
Polymer Journey’s is available to purchase here.