Monday, June 18, 2012

Review of Gordon k. Uyehara

 Vacation is rapidly coming to a close.  Chris has a bad Summer cold, so we are all staying inside today which is perfect time for me to go through some of the books that Lark Craft has sent me to review.  Today, I decided to jump in and read the book with a technique I hardly know a thing about.  I have taken one precious metal clay class when Byzantium was still open.  I did enjoy it, but never went beyond that class.  My best friend, Cynthia, is an absolutely wonder with PMC.  Not only has she studied with Gordon Uyehara, but also has created some breath taking pieces which involve days and weeks of carving.  I have been lucky to have gotten some of her pieces as gifts which I will treasure always.

The book I am reviewing for today is from Lark Jewely &Beading Metal Clay Master class selection.  The book is by Gordon K. Uyehara- Metal Clay Fusion: Diverse Clays, Detailed Techniques, Artful Projects. 

Gordon begins the book by stating that he found an advertisement in the alternative newspaper offering a class in silver clay which transpired him into an extremely talented artist.  Gordon is the recipient of the Saul Bell Award.  Each chapter takes the reader into another aspect of creating using different metal clays building upon each previous exercise.  This book is not for beginners in my opinion.  I feel that you need to have some experience with the medium and techniques before you can attempt the projects in the book.  Gordon discusses how to do parts individual but then gives many helpful hints on how to construct and incorporate the pieces together.

As I have said, much of this book is beyond my understanding. Yet, one chapter really caught my attention and it can be used by any and all artist.  He calls it "Artiquette".  He gives these sets of principles of conduct expanding on each concept.  First off he calls for an artist to "Be Professional: just do the work, who up when you say you will, and don't promise what you can't deliver".  Next he says to "Be Original: if it looks like someone else work, don't publish it or sell it as your own...also step up and credit the designer".  He encourages an artist to "Adapt, Evolve &Experiment: you don't want to be a one-trick pony".  Also "Build Skills: develop new skills either by learning them yourself or by taking classes, and put whatever you've learned into practice".  And especially "Work Hard: you must do it because simply talking about it doesn't cut it.  They more you do it the better you will be at it".  Next to "Be Your Own Critic: there is nothing wrong with asking the advice of those with aesthetics you admire, but ultimately you have to develop trust in your own judgement".  And lastly, "Have Fun!: Play is helpful to the creative mind".  These declarations should be carved in Metal Clay and given as tokens to each artist to help them "decide how you want to be defined".

The many illustrations of Gordon and other artist's work in the book is pure enjoyment for the eye.  I won't be taking any clay classes in the future, so I have decided to send this book to my friend Cynthia who I know will enjoy it immensely and use it to further her skill in sculpting and creating in PMC.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of  products from Lark Books, I receive the book above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Lark Books for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

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