Christi Friesen's newest book, Steampunkery, is a great addition to your library if you want some inspiration and some techniques that can add a fun element to your clay work. Even if you have no intention of ever doing anything that remotely evokes steampunk, you still need this book because it's a hoot to read and is loaded with fun little side-trips and creative fictional characters who share their thoughts every so often. Many of the techniques Christi includes here can be taken in other directions because they are quite transferable to other genres of work. This book answers the question "How do I make the clay look like THAT?"
In her customary fun and informative style, Christi walks you through 8 "official" projects plus a whole bunch of suggestions and ideas for others. This book also has some gallery pages which show other artists' interpretations of steampunk. Guest artists include Christi Anderson, Darleen Bellan, Kathy Davis, Sam Katz, Nefer Kane, Tracey Lipman, Cynthia Lohry, Julie Picarello, Dawn Schiller, Eugena Topina, Willam Wallace (no, not THAT WW), Carole Witt, Shaun Mullin, Christy Minnis, and Kathy Penovich. With lots of pictures and just the right amount of words to provide guidance, this book provides a great tour of all things steampunk.
Christi teaches you how to mix clay colors that masquerade as various metals, helps you shape and outfit a wide variety of her distinctive critters, and has loads of design tips for various steampunk elements so they really look like they belong and are integrated into the piece. The critters look like you could wind them up and they would go! And if you're not interested in critters, there is a floral project with a steampunk twist to it. You will learn how to use a metal hinge to create a heart that opens - very cool!
Christi also teaches some surface treatments to steampunk molded clay elements using colored pencils, mica powders and paints for patina. And if the chemist in you is just screaming to play, there is a secion on using liver of sulfur or other fluids to age your found metal treasures so they will fit right into your steampunk work.
She also includes a resource list at the back of the book, which is very helpful in collecting all the treasures you might need for your own version of steampunk. The resource list covers basic clay supplies, mold-making stuff, stamps and texture sheets, metal-aging supplies, vintage embellishments, and tricky stuff like watch parts and glass eyes. In addition, the needs of beginning clayers are addressed in the sections covering clay basics. All this is packed into 96 FULL pages with plenty of pictures.
Fun + Information = Funformation!