Words of wisdom from Judy Belcher: “Even crap is beautiful tessellated.” I love it. Along with the rest of this new DVD. Millefiori Story showed up yesterday and over the past two days I have watched the whole thing, from checkerboards to quilts to faces. There are over two hours worth of caning techniques, starting with basic stripes, jellyrolls, and checkerboards and moving effortlessly into mica shift, extruded canes, and a discussion of the ubiquitous and essential Skinner Blend. The second half of the DVD builds on previous concepts to create leaves & fruit, kaleidoscopic (tessellated) canes, clay quilts, and face canes. Despite the fact that I’ve been caning for over a decade, I still had a few a-ha! moments watching Judy do her thing. That’s the beauty of DVDs over books, I think. Sometimes there are things to learn simply by seeing how an artist cranks clay through her pasta machine. Everyone moves somewhat differently, and it’s the seemingly unimportant movements that define an artist’s technique and can help you refine your own.
There are nine millefiori lessons, and each lesson culminates in a project. Jewelry, a clock, salt & pepper shakers, and a night light are among the offerings. There is an extensive gallery (so extensive that I had to take a potty break in the middle ). Image after image of Judy’s beautiful work is displayed, and each piece refers back to one of the projects on the DVD. If you see something you like, you can go from the gallery directly to the relevant project and see how it’s made. All PageSage DVDs have this feature, and I think it’s fantastic. Actually, I love everything about PageSage DVDs. They are professional, well-made, and take full advantage of the DVD format.
Millefiori is one of the most popular applications in polymer clay, and yet it has been hard for me to recommend learning tools when I am asked. There are several caning videos out there, many of them very good, but aside from the excellent-but-10-years-old Millefiori Basics, they all focus on one particular type of cane. This DVD is more than two hours full of techniques that will satisfy beginners and experienced caners alike. I will not hesitate to recommend this DVD to anyone who asks. In fact, at the risk of dooming myself to an extra several days of packing-and-shipping, I am going to be so bold as to say you really need to get this DVD now, if you have any interest in millefiori at all.
Or, you could wait – a little bird with the initials JB has offered to send me a signed copy that I was thinking would make a lovely little blog giveaway for one of you loyal readers… You’ll have to stay tuned for more on that.
If you’ve pre-ordered a copy, I will be shipping it out over the course of the next week. I have more preorders for this title than ever before, so they will be going out in waves. I’ll see if I can recruit a little help to speed up the process – as a clayhead myself, I know you get antsy waiting for your fix of new instructional materials