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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Fast Faces by Jonni Good is subtitled Unleash Your Creativity With a Friendly Lump of Clay and certainly lives up to the latter claim. Jonni Good has come up with a brilliant idea to encourage one to take up a lump of clay and have some great fun making faces. The book is fully illustrated and the author takes you through the process step by step, guiding you to examine a piece of rough modelling clay to see if you can spot a face in the folds and wrinkles in the lump. This is not hard at all - I think most of us realise that if you stare at any random object, clouds, the veins in marble or intricate ceramic patterns for instance, you will very quickly discern a face. Once you have identified the face, the book guides you through the best methods to tease out the details and bring life to your creation. There is clear advice on tools, equipment, and types of clay, though very little is required to get started - a few discarded kitchen utensils will often do the trick. There are also many examples in the book of the author’s own modelling efforts, illustrations which start from a random piece of clay and show, stage by stage, the development to a finished piece of work. As one would expect, there are a number of goofy faces, some happy, some sad, a gorilla, and my personal favourite, a chubby-faced, grinning creation called Hector.
I was so taken with the idea presented in Fast Faces that I decided to give it a go. I ordered some modelling clay online and the same company supplied a pack of basic tools. The whole package was very inexpensive. I had my grandchildren staying with us at the time so it was a good test as, on a rainy afternoon, we all got stuck in to make our fast faces. I am happy to report that the test was a great success. My grandchildren (a girl aged 10 and a boy aged 8) very quickly picked up the idea, and it kept them engrossed for a few hours turning out and photographing a variety of funny faces. Personally, I have very little artistic talent, but I also managed to turn out some identifiable work and enjoyed the process very much. Jonni Good has produced a gem of a book which will appeal to all ages and abilities. As the author quite rightly points out, we are all creative people; we just need to find the right channel for our talents to shine. My grandchildren and I do not hesitate to recommend this book.