Friday, May 13, 2011

PMC+ Metal Clay

Today, I got to play with PMC+ Silver aka Precious Metal Clay Silver!  It is clay when you start with it, but when you are done firing, it is 0.999% fine solid silver!  All of the clay component completely burns off during the firing process and you are left with solid silver!

 This is the 16gram package I bought after the class :) Today we worked with a 9gram package.  I was able to make the two small pendants you will see shortly, and I had a tiny bit left over.
  Above is the PMC Sheet.  It's thin, like paper, so you can work it in different ways from the lump clay.  And yes, I bought this too :D

I did all of this today at a class at Wired Up Beads in Southlake, TX with Janet Alexander and it was awesome!  I made two really cute pendants.  There are endless possibilities with regards to what you can make!  Wired Up Beads had a great classroom, with all of the tools right there for everyone to use.

  I made the Hot Air Balloon pendant using the lump PMC.  I used a pattern on the base, and then laid the hot air balloon pieces over it.  For both pieces I used some liver of sulfur to antique it a bit, and also add some darkness for contrast within the lines of the piece.

On the Initial Charm I used both the lump PMC and the sheet PMC.  The base is the lump, with the pattern.  The 'M', and the heart are the sheet PMC laid over it.  I like the design, but I don't like how the M and the heart are so close to the base.  I feel like they are hard to see.  I need to try the liver of sulfur again to try to darken it up a bit more, and then only buff off the M and the heart.

I would have to say the only drawback, and it is a big one if you are a small time Etsy seller like me, the PMC is SO EXPENSIVE!  It is roughly $30 for a tiny 9gram ball of clay.  You can maybe make two small earring pieces and a small pendant, or two medium sized pendants.  In order for me to continue working with it (which I really really really really really want to do!) I'm going to need to make sure that I am making pendants and/or earrings that will appeal to people, despite the higher price tag.  I basically use any sales I make to buy more crafting items.  If they aren't selling, cannot afford to keep buying it.

If you are curious about PMC I highly recommend taking a class.  I learned so much, and it is always those tiny little details that you learn in a classroom setting that make a difference.  Another reason is, as I already mentioned, the PMC is expensive, so you can't just play around and think oh well, I'll just throw this piece away and start another.  Well...I guess you could, but it would be an expensive do-over!

This is the supplement Janet gave to use today, Beginning Metal Clay Steps.  This is directly from her website, and has great information, but like I said, try to take a class if you can!  If you are in the DFW area, definitely take one of her classes, she is incredible, so knowledgeable, patient, and just all around awesome.
 To fire our pieces today, we used a butane torch:

Here is a great video on using the butane torch to fire your PMC.  It's a great option if you can't afford the $600-$2400 you would need to shell out for a kiln...YIKES!


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