Saturday, July 5, 2014

Plastics as an Art Form | Thelma Newman | Chilton Book Company, publisher | 1964, 1969

Plastics as an Art Form

Plastics as an Art Form was first published in 1964 and published in a revised edition in 1969.  It is part of a series of books authored by Thelma R. Newman that discuss a variety of material topics.  I previously recommended Plastics as Design Form.

Dr. Newman explains in the preface that Plastics as an Art Form is “essentially a source book for artists, craftsmen, and art educators who desire a foundation in plastics as an art form.”  The purpose of the book is to introduce the reader to how plastics are being used in the arts.  Previous work in this area has been geared toward the industrial arts and industrial user, where language is typically technical and complex.

The majority of the photographs in the book are of art pieces that are single or editioned, and not mass produced, and the forming techniques used to produce them.  Many of the chapters feature step by step tutorials how to create individual works of art in polymers.

After purchasing Plastics as Design Form from Amazon for $4 ($0.01 plus $3.99 shipping), I went back to Amazon and spent $4 on Plastics as an Art Form.  Be sure to get these books in hardcover if you decide to purchase them.

Table of Contents by chapter
1 Plastics: The new art medium, An introduction 1
2 Properties of plastics 28
3 Laminating, casting, foaming, and fabrication of plastics 60 
4 The plastic quality 93
5 Working with polyester and epoxy resins 99 
6 Working with acrylics and other plastic solids 185
7 Working with vinyls 244
8 Painting with acrylic, acrylic-vinyl copolymers or vinyl mediums 275
9 Working with polystyrene and polyethylene 284
10 Working with silicones, pyroxylin and ethyl silicate 298
11 Working with foams 309
12 The “plastic” future 333

Also contains Glossary, Bibliography, and Index


Newman, T. (1969). Plastics as an art form (Rev. Ed.). Philadelphia, United States of America: Chilton Book Company.

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