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Author Topic: Precious Metal Clay  (Read 2059 times)
Aster Breo
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« Topic Start: February 13, 2010, 02:41:02 am »

Does anyone here work with precious metal clay (PMC)?

I have a thing for symbolic jewelry and amulets -- I have a couple of really great pieces that I've had custom made.  And I have another in mind.

I'm interested in trying to make it myself, and I've heard that PMC is relatively easy to work with.  What I want to make will be pretty simple -- probably a thickish disk with a design on each side (likely some version of a Brighid's cross on one side and maybe a couple of ogam characters on the other side, or something like that).  I haven't totally decided yet.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks.

~MI
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yewberry
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« Reply #1: February 13, 2010, 03:29:07 am »

I'm interested in trying to make it myself, and I've heard that PMC is relatively easy to work with.  What I want to make will be pretty simple -- probably a thickish disk with a design on each side (likely some version of a Brighid's cross on one side and maybe a couple of ogam characters on the other side, or something like that). 

Do you have a kiln?  It's my understanding you'll need one if the piece is fairly thick.  I've seen it being fired on YouTube and at a local shop that sells it, but I've never used it myself.  Also, you might want to consider trying the copper or bronze versions before springing for silver.

Brina
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Aster Breo
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« Reply #2: February 13, 2010, 03:31:40 am »

Do you have a kiln? 

Not yet.  But a friend does.

I've also read that it can be fired with a torch -- or at least, the newest kind (PMC3) can.

Trying the less expensive stuff first is a great idea!  Thanks.
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Petrichor
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« Reply #3: July 12, 2010, 03:32:08 pm »

Does anyone here work with precious metal clay (PMC)?

I have a thing for symbolic jewelry and amulets -- I have a couple of really great pieces that I've had custom made.  And I have another in mind.

I'm interested in trying to make it myself, and I've heard that PMC is relatively easy to work with.  What I want to make will be pretty simple -- probably a thickish disk with a design on each side (likely some version of a Brighid's cross on one side and maybe a couple of ogam characters on the other side, or something like that).  I haven't totally decided yet.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks.

~MI
  It is pretty easy, like molding clay. I just took a beginners class on PMC. If your piece is bigger then a quarter then they suggested that you fire it in a kiln otherwise you can use a hand torch like the kind you use in the kitchen for creme brulee and a sodering brick. As for thickness they use a measuring system based on playing cards where they roll out the clay between two stacks of playing cards so that the roller can rest on the cards and roll the clay evenly. 4 cards thick is a sort of standard although three cards are good for charms and earrings. So if you're going to go thicker then 4 cards you probably need to use a kiln. Also while the bronze and copper are cheaper I hear they are also more difficult to fire and I don't know if you can use a torch on them. The place where I took classes also has a firing service with a few finishing options so maybe check your local bead stores to see if they have classes and a kiln service?

There's actually a PMC Guild. Check out their website as they have a pdf with baisic PMC info for getting started. Plus other resources like classes.
http://www.pmcguild.com/home.html

Pmc silver also comes in a syringe so you can draw raised designs with it and in a tiny paper sheet forms to make origami sculptures with.

Let me know if you have more questions. This is just what I remember off the top of my head as I don't have my notes with me.
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« Reply #4: July 12, 2010, 09:00:45 pm »

Oh by the way I forgot to tell you something really important. PMC shrinks when you fire it. How much depends on the type you use. PMC shrinks 30% and PMC+ shrinks 10-12%. PMC3 shrinks the least since it has the most metal in it.
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