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PMC Precious Metal Clay workshop
One of many Leisure Classes that I run at Helen Swan Designer Jewellery.
What is PMC?
PMC has particles of Fine Silver suspended in a binder which makes the material pliable like clay. The clay originated in Japan and gives the jeweller the ability to create forms that are difficult to construct with silver sheet and silver wire, the finished piece of silver has the look of a cast piece of jewellery without having to use all the complicated equipment necessary for the precious metal casting process.
Using simple model making tools and techniques PMC can be manipulate into the desired shape, organic forms are ideal for this. Once modelling is completed the finished product is fired, this burns off the binder and leaves your modelled shape in silver. As the binder burns off the finish article will shrink approx.10%
There are many methods to create modelled shapes in PMC.
A simple but effective way is
1. By rolling out the clay with a small rolling pin, texturing the surface and cutting out a shape, pretty earring and pendants can quickly be achieve and because it is fine silver, polishing and finishing techniques associated with conventional jewellery making techniques are eliminated
2. The thickness of metal is measured in playing cards ie.2 cards equals.5mm thick metal, 4cards equals 1mm thick
3. By draping the rolled out PMC shape over a curved surface or by propping areas up a three dimensional shape can be achieved but it must be left to dry with the props in places.
4. Once your modelled piece has dried thoroughly it has to be fired.
A small kiln, or for small forms a gas torch is perfectly adequate.
Torch Firing Times for Metal Clay
5g or less 1-1 5 mins15g 1.5-2.5 mins
25g 2.5-5.5 mins
Firing using a stove
This takes longer, fire for at least 20mins on the reddest section of the heat mat
Would you like To find out more about using PMC look out for my next blog where I will be describing other ways of achieving three dimensional shapes. Examples of this and photographs of my Leisure Classes can be seen on my Facebook Leisure Class Page
more information about my leisure classes can be found on my Flipbook on Helen Swan Designer Jewellery home page
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Written and researched by Helen Swan for Helly and Haz of Helen Swan Designer Jewellery