Dan Cormier’s Relief Beyond Belief Ebook

Dan Cormier Relief Beyond Belief

In November 2011, Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes released their ebook Relief Beyond Belief.  I’ve had time to read it several times, and to use the techniques.  I find myself referring back to it often.   Several parts of the dieforming technique have become regular bits of my bead/pendant making process. While finishing up beads for the annual Bead Bazaar, I started thinking about this book.  So… here I am, finally getting around to writing my review.

First of all, I think this is a fantastic book.  It’s possibly the best, most fully developed polymer clay technique book around, in part because of its narrow focus, but largely because of format and content the book itself.  Dan and Tracy refer to the book as a “master class” and it truly is that.  It’s a perfect road map to making beautiful dieformed beads with polymer clay.  It’s full of clear photographs and text explanations, as well as a gorgeous gallery section of finished pieces.  If you follow the instructions, you can’t help but make a beautiful and elegantly constructed bead, and you will learn a lot along the way.

One reason I wanted to write this review was that I recently heard someone comment  that they thought Relief Beyond Belief was very expensive.  Personally I think this book is a real bargain because it is a complete master level workshop.  You would have to pay at least a couple of hundred dollars to take a comparable class.  In fact, I took a version of this workshop when Dan came to Connecticut to teach a couple of years ago.  I can tell you that the ebook goes far beyond the workshop in the amount of detail and visual information. And you can go back to it again and again.  My class notes don’t even come close. I loved the process and the results when I took the workshop, but I didn’t start to really use the technique a lot until I got the ebook.

I am hoping that Dan and Tracy will come out with other ebooks because they’ve really done such a fantastic job with this first one.  The layout is graphically pleasing, logical and easy to follow.  The format is perfectly suited to use on an iPad, but I am told it’s great as a pdf on a traditional computer as well.  Clearly I admire Dan’s work and I like his teaching style.  This book is very indicative of Dan Cormier’s approach to polymer clay, lots of thought and attention to detail.

If your main focus in working with polymer clay is not jewelry, this probably isn’t the book for you.  If your style is very loose and fast-moving, you tend to create on the fly and just the thought of multiple steps makes you twitchy, it may not be your cup of tea.  But I still think it’s worth considering.  If you like very specific instructions along with explanations about why you should do certain things and not others, you’ll love this book.  If you’re interested in making polymer clay beads or jewelry, and you’re interested in taking your work to the next level, I highly recommend Relief Beyond Belief.


Inching back & Quick Earring Recipe

I’m slowly inching my way back into my normal schedule after a weekend away.  My nephew’s wedding was beautiful.  It was wonderful to be able to spend a couple of days with so much of my husband’s family in one place.  M did a reading during the wedding ceremony.  (the groom is her godfather)  She did a great job and even managed to walk around in her crazy tall spike sandals without any problem.  I, on the other hand, had on a pair of low heel sensible mommy shoes and my feet were still screaming.  LOL  Sorry no pictures.  One of these days I need to get a decent pocket sized digital camera.

Fortunately I found a pendant from 2007 that coordinated with my clothes for the wedding.  (Stewart Gill Byzantia paints & Jones Tones foils under translucent clay.  Sterling silver textured surface bezel)

Good thing too, I really didn’t leave myself enough time to make a special necklace for the wedding.  I did, however, make the quickest earrings ever.

The purple glitter beads were made by my friend, Jenn Dorion.  The color in my photo is off.  The beads aren’t as blue as they appear here.  I had been meaning to turn them into earrings for ages.

Here’s the “recipe” for these earrings:


  • 2 beads (the glitter beads I used were approx. 11 mm wide by 9 mm high)
  • 2 ball end headpins 3 or more inches long (I used 20 gauge wire)
  • 7/8 inch silver tube bead


  • chain nose pliers
  • cup bur or file
  • wire cutters
  • plastic or leather hammer

Slide the bead onto the headpin.  Slide the silver tube bead on next.  Use the pliers to bend the wire at the top of the tube.  Holding the wire in your pliers make a curving bend with the rest of the wire.  (I’ll try to add a picture here later when someone else is here to hold the camera)  Clip to desired length and file off any sharp edges at the end of the wire.  Work harden the curved section with a plastic or leather hammer.  You can also work harden the curved portion of the wire with your fingers, but it takes longer.

They were so quick I made another pair.  Modeled here by a semi-cooperative 13 yr old.

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