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Craft Hobbyists Can Make Beautiful Gifts With Precious Metal Clay
If you are an artist, craftsman or hobbyist who loves to make jewelry, you definitely need to work with Precious Metal Clay (PMC). PMC or silver clay is very easy to work with, and you don’t need a lot of tools to work with it.
If you can’t find a class in your town or city, you can buy the materials you need online to work with PMC, but if you can find a certified teacher, it’s easier to learn how to use it. This article has some basic instructions on how to get started.
Precious Metal Clay is a material that was developed by Mitsubishi Corporation as another product line they made. They are essentially pieces of precious metal embedded in a non-toxic organic compound that turns into solid silver or gold when burned. It didn’t immediately catch on as a jewelry-making material in Japan, but several artists in the United States began experimenting with it, and it began to gain popularity. After testing, and some formula changes, there are now three main types of PMC available for purchase along with some other related PMC products for decorating.
Original PMC: The original PMC is the first formula created, and the least user-friendly of the three formulas. This version takes about two hours to fire in the oven, and takes about 50% of the original clay to the finished piece.
PMC+: PMC+ is my personal favorite PMC formula to work with and the one I think most beginners should start with. It is the most effective cost. You can bake a piece in the oven for about fifteen minutes to two hours. It shrinks by about 12% and dries slower than PMC3.
PMC3: PMC3 was designed when jewelers cried out for a formula they could combine with fused glass. It can be burned at the lowest temperature of the three formulas, which allows it to be burned in a hot pot or other smaller vessels. However, if you want to drive the bottle into the ground, you need a proper PMC shoe.
PMC can be purchased in a single form, or in a PMC+ sachet, or a syringe (PMC+ and PMC3), and finally a paste is available for purchase in all three formulations. These formulas are all good silver. If you want to work with gold, you should buy the Original PMC formula.
What is so amazing about working with PMC is that you can build the material like wet clay. It can be rolled, stamped, cut, and made into any shape and form, then when fired you are left with the exact shape you created, but in fine silver or gold. After firing, it behaves like silver or gold and you can use metalworking techniques to finish it.
It’s a great material for hobbyists or beginners because they don’t need to buy a lot of metalsmithing tools to work with it, and they don’t need to have all that many metalsmithing skills to create something beautiful. Common tools include polymer clay tools, scissors, xacto knives, plastic clips, cookie cutters, or rubber stamps. You don’t need to hammer, saw, or drill most parts.
Want to add a stone to your design? Well, burn the stone right into the piece you’re making. Do you need to create a bond or bond? If so, you can make one out of PMC, and burn it right on the part.
There are many unique designs that can be made with PMC. Why not make your next Mother’s Day gift out of beautiful silver?
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