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Topic: Precious Metal Clay  (Read 55359 times)
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« on: July 28, 2004 10:56:51 AM »

I'd like to find out more about PMC (Precious Metal Clay)...Has anybody tried it? It seems a little intimidating. I'm considering buying a starter kit, but they're a wee bit pricey and some come with torches, some come with mini hot pot kilny things, and they say you can also use your gas stovetop (is that safe?) Which is the best method? Am I going to blow up my house? Am I going to burst into flames?
I'd like to take a class, but there aren't any in my area of NJ. Hmmmm.....So any advice would be helpful, so I don't feel so daunted.  Huh
« Last Edit: July 28, 2004 01:08:31 PM by sparrow » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2004 11:57:52 PM »

Although I have not yet taken the class, we offer a PMC course where I work (on the opposite coast from NJ, sorry!).  The produced pieces are awesome!  We order our clay and supplies through Rio Grande www.riogrande.com  Even though it costs more, we recommend buying the PMC+ or PMC3 because the shrinking rate after firing is so much lower than the orignal.  For more info check out http://www.riogrande.com/PMC/pmc.htm
We don't have a specific kiln for PMC, but instead use a small glass bead annealing kiln.  Maybe there's a local glass artist or ceramist who has a kiln you could borrow from time to time? 
Seems like it could become an expensive but rewarding hobby; good luck!

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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2004 10:21:41 AM »

Thanks! I'll have to check Rio Grande.
I agree with the expensive part....however, apparently there are alternate firing methods (butane torch and gas stovetop) which might make it more reasonable. It just seems like a great simple way to make silver jewelry, as opposed to traditional methods, which seem to require a lot of skill and tools. 
www.PMCSupply.com has a starter kit...I might have to convince my fiance to get it for my upcoming birthday.

« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2004 07:45:48 AM »

 I've made a few things with the PMC. The key is to keep the clay moist while you are working with it. I use olive oil on my hands so that it doesn't stick to your skin and end up wasting it!

 I fire my pieces at a local store where they make fused glass and lampworked beads. Sometimes a pottery place or a craft guild will fire pieces for you too. If you use stones in your work then you have to have it fired in a kiln because the stones crack with the other methods. The stones need the kiln to cool them down slowly.

There are tons of websites that will get you going.

I never did buy a kit, I found it cheaper to buy things separately and some things you can get at the hardware store.

Good luck with it.
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2004 11:35:42 AM »

I've always wanted to work with this stuff too - is it real wet though, like paper clay?  I never could work really well with that stuff, I'm more used to polymer clay.

What's the texture/consistency like?
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2004 10:25:59 AM »

I'm a fulltime PMC artist and certified instructor.  Please check out www.pmcguild.com for more info on PMC and classes in your area.

Compared to silversmithing, PMC is the cheapest way to make your own silver pieces.  And, yes, you can fire it with a butane torch--the PMC 3 and PMC+, not the regular PMC (which I use).  PMC 3 & PMC+ can be rather sticky on the hands. Work quickly because it does dry fast.  It has less binder in it than regular PMC and fires in 10 minutes.

Good luck! 
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2004 11:23:40 AM »

So it IS wet and squishy, like paper clay?  That's disappointing.
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2004 12:27:28 PM »

I (like Sparrow) would like to know more about using PMC.  I have been designing jewelry with semi-precious stones for about 8 months now and would like to incorporate doing silver jewelry as well.  Does anyone have any advice to get started?  I can't afford a Kiln but I can work with a blow torch!!!   Grin
What sort of PMC should I use? Embarrassed

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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2004 06:14:53 PM »

Use PMC3 or PMC+ which can be fired with a butane torch.  Make sure you have some sort of fire brick or tile below the piece you are firing so you don't start your worksurface on fire. 

The standard PMC feels most like regular clay.  PMC3 and PMC+ are rather sticky.  I would use PMC+ if firing with a torch.  There are several books out regarding PMC which you can check out from your library or peruse at the bookstore.  As I've said before, go to www.pmcguild.com for info about PMC.  Rio Grande also has some information in their catalog about PMC.

You can always email me at [email protected] with any questions.  I'll try and answer all your questions the best I can. 

« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2004 08:03:25 PM »

I've fired it with a torch and on the stove, the torch worked better.  I wish I were better with clay so my pieces were cooler, sigh.  Get a proper fire brick to use the torch with (available at home improvment stores).  I thought I could improvise with a heavy clay tiie, and I was wrong.  As I was firing it exploded, splitting down the center, and each half shooting out horizontally and falling to the ground on either side of the table.  I laughed hysterically for about an hour  Cheesy  My mom was in the room, talking on the phone to my dad, who heard the explosion.  He asked what it was, my mom said "Oh, it's just Kris blowing things up with a torch," and he said "okay," and they changed topics.  How much does that say about me?   Wink  The upside is, you can also use your torch to carmalize the top of creme brulee.  That works really well, too.

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