This week my nephew is celebrating his birthday and I wanted to make him a special gift. When I stumbled on Mini Menagerie by Lynn Allingham, I knew I had found the perfect project. I decided to make him a mini lion, since he loves animals.
Meanwhile, I learned so much from this book about clay play and in the post, I share why I think it is a great resource.
Learning to play with clay
Mini Menagerie is a terrific book for those who are learning how to sculpt using polymer clay. I confess that while I started to play with clay a few years ago, I am still not always confident. Thanks to Lynn my confidence has grown. She offers some wonderful tips and hints as to how to sculpt and how to decorate your creations. For one, I didn’t know that you could colour white clay with soft pastel. This has been a revelation to me and I have had so much fun since decorating other miniatures I have made from both polymer and air dry white clay with it. Lynn also shows you how you can work with fibres, such as natural and synthetic felts, to add texture to your creations.
The art of making animals
The book includes 20 miniature animal projects. With Lynn’s guidance, you can make rabbits, mice, birds and even a sloth! Lynn’s miniature animals are very detailed and if you’re a beginner like me, this might be a bit daunting at first but each mini project has a step-by-step guide. Lynn’s written instructions are clear and they are supported by numbered photographs for easy reference. Importantly, Lynn begins by teaching you how to mould the animals from basic shapes. This is a fundamental step when creating more realistic representations of any subject. I had to spend time mastering the basic contours of the lion before I was able to successfully mould and mark the finer details of the lion. In fact, I had to start again more than once. My advice is to slow down and take your time when following the first few steps of each project. Once you have got the basic shapes and contours right, you can more easily add the details.
Lynn’s book has opened up a new world for me in terms of clay play. For my project, I even found myself dyeing alpaca fleece with grape leaves and coffee. I share more about my experiment in my latest vlog post.
Meanwhile, I’m in love with my miniature lion and I hope my nephew adores him too!
The Guid of Master Craftsman Publications is the book’s publisher. It is now available from the Book Depository and Amazon. Meanwhile, check out Lynn’s wonderful Instagram account to see her latest fun creations.
Please kindly note that I am an affiliate of the Book Depository and Amazon. This means that if you click on the book’s link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission at no cost to you.