I always loved the idea of doing pottery as a hobby but never really knew where to get started. I frustrate easily and like to be able to do things (even if they’re tiny projects) straight away. When I saw this book, where everything can be made with air dry clay without heat I ordered it straight away.
Make it With Air-Dry Clay: 20 fantastic projects for modelling, sculpting, and craft is the book I own, however I’m not sure if the second image is the same book with a different cover. Certainly all the images on the cover of the second book appear as projects in the first. You can see Fay De Winter’s lovely pottery works here and I think her style definitely comes through in the (admittedly much simpler!) projects in this book.
So first of all, you do not need a wide range of things to get started on the projects in this book, which I like a lot. Airdry clay is quite expensive on Amazon but £4 for a kilo at the works which I thought was very reasonable. Apart from the clay you’ll need paints (there’s projects that use acrylic paints, poster paints, watercolours, spray paint and even nail polish), tools (most of which can be found in the kitchen) and other miscellany you’d find in most houses, the only things I didn’t have available in the house in some form for the projects I did were the clay and the spray on gloss for finishing them once they’re painted. If you don’t collect craft stuff endlessly like I do you may need to buy an item or two but they’re always easily sourced and inexpensive.
The front of the book has a few pages of techniques before it starts on the actual projects. These are very simply explained and useful. They are only a few pages rather than a deep in-depth guide to everything you’d ever need to know like some books I’ve read on other subjects, but I think this is better because I was more likely to read a few pages than whole chapters when I’m just excited to get started! In these guides they show you how to do techniques that will be used in the later projects, and also guides on how to colour and store your clay. It even has a guide to making your own clay.
The projects themselves are varied. There are wall decorations, sculptures, jewellery items, bowls, tea light holders, planters and jars amongst others. Some of them are not to my taste but I’ve never found a craft book where everything was to my taste. What I do love about the projects is they look so doable you start thinking about incorporating your own elements almost instantly. I see the projects as holding your hand until you’re ready to try something yourself, and ultimately shouldn’t that be the aim of every beginners craft book?
This book is definitely a beginner’s book. I can’t see anyone who is seasoned at making with clay getting anything out of it, but for the beginner who doesn’t know how to get started and needs a bit of handholding I think it is a very good buy.
Today I’ve made lidded pots and a little dish. I’ll post the results once they’re dry and painted. So far I’m happy with how they’re coming out and found the guides very easy to follow, although I did have to adjust the sizing a little bit to make use of things I already owned. So hopefully I haven’t messed anything up! I found making them incredibly relaxing and the waiting for them to dry very stressful! I’m definitely going to have a go at a few more of the projects over the coming weeks and may even try out a few of my own ideas.