You haven’t heard much from me in the last three months, because I’ve been working so hard on the new paper mache book. I think it will be called Make Animal Sculptures from Paper Mache Clay. I’ll let you watch the video first, and then I’ll tell you a bit more about the book and what I hope you’ll learn from it in the section below the video:
As you can see, (I hope I’m obviously still trying to learn how to focus the video camera!) the first project in the book is fairly simple. I call it the practice chicken, because that’s exactly how I hope readers will use it.
(I actually thought up the idea of using videos in my posts because people claim it’s so much faster than writing. Hah! This one took me all day yesterday, and all morning today. I do hope they’ll be easier, and better, as I learn how to actually do it right. Wish me luck!)
I tend to buy lots of how-to books, and I think it’s frustrating to read a book all the way through and still not feel that I know how to use the skills the author tried to teach me. That’s why I think it’s so important to start off learning each required skill by doing a real project. I think the best way to learn is by doing. I organized the book so that each project will be just a little more challenging, but all the projects will use the same basic skills so readers get lots of practice. I also encourage readers to try the new skills with their own projects. After all – the true success of any how-to book comes when the reader takes what they’ve learned to create something entirely their own.
Writing a book like this has been an incredible adventure. I’ve learned the value of doing things over (I used to hate doing things over – now I actually enjoy seeing how much better things turn out when you get a bit of practice…).
Just as soon as Jessie (my book designer/typesetter/general book-creation expert) is back from vacation – she took a bit of time off the book project to prepare for the exhibit of her oil paintings – I should have all the chapters completely written and all the photos taken. Then she’ll take over and turn it all into a book, which should be available on amazon.com by the end of April.
Since my part of the book is almost all done, I’ll spend my free time learning how to make videos. After you’ve met all the characters in the book, I’ll start some short how-to videos to show you the basics of applying paper mache clay, building armatures with patterns, etc. Since I’m very new at this video thing, feel free to offer advice on how I could do it better. (Yes, I will be working on the focus problem! )
And if there’s anything you’d like me to show you how to do (and if I can do it in about 6 minutes or less), your suggestions will be more than welcome. As always, I value your comments.