Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm in Love with PMC

There's a new love in my life, and I'm not ashamed to say it.  :D  For those who know me well, you're thinking, "well, DUH, Barb… we KNOW you love Paul McCartney!  What's new about THAT???"

Nope, it's not Paul…well, YES, I love, love, love him, but this is another PMC.  :D

It's PMC or Precious Metal Clay.

Now, I may lose some of you at this point, but read on; it's actually pretty cool!

I saw some videos of Precious Metal Clay, or PMC a few months ago and thought it was pretty cool, but didn't fully understand it.  I thought it was some sort of jewelry type clay, and I was dead set to work with only sterling silver or fine silver.  Thought you could make beads with it or something and I wasn't interested in that.  Dumb me missed the "precious" part of the precious metal clay title.

Recently, I found out more what it really is and have been planning to put an order in for some, just hadn't gotten around to it yet.  A few days ago, I was flicking channels and on Jewelry TV there it was!  And… it was an instructional DVD and PMC combo, so I could learn to use it correctly.  SOLD!  Today I received my package, I watched the video and got right to work.

PMC comes in a little plastic package looking like a chewed piece of gray gum, seriously.  It has minuscule pieces of .999 fine silver combined with the clay.  It's sold by the gram, and you can get 10 grams, 20, 30, etc. keeping in mind the silver prices, of course, and they've been climbing lately.  You take this gray gum and smoosh it into a silicone mold, or you can stamp something into it and make an impression.
Wax seal stamp
Once you get your shape stamped, you gently file it, add holes, pretty it up and then dry it well (15 minutes with a hair dryer).  After this, you take your handy-dandy micro torch and carefully torch it for 2 minutes.

Dried clay before firing
What happens is, the clay particles burn away and what's left is your piece in .999 fine silver.  Take a stainless steel brush, brush off the white coating left over from the firing and the silver starts gleaming through.


After firing and buffing

IT. IS. AAAAAMAZING.

Then you take your piece and finish your jewelry project. For this sun, I decided to solder it to a patterned sterling band and oxidize the whole thing to bring out the textures and grooves.  I think it came out pretty nice for my first PMC project.  What do you think?  (Click pics to zoom)

After oxidizing and hand-polishing!  Done!


Will post better pics tomorrow.  Have a great night!
Barb

5 comments:

  1. It's more than super fun! It teaches patience, too!

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