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Author Topic:   PMC - Precious Metal Clay
Scott Martin
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Posts: 11520
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 10-23-2003 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am wondering whether anyone has any experience working with PMC or has purchased PMC made items?

Ok, not everyone knows what PMC is:
Precious Metal Clay

Contemporary Silversmiths have a new material to work with. It is called Precious Metal Clay. Silversmiths can create high quality pure precious metal art/ jewelry in a fraction of the time with PMC/PMC3 products.

Precious Metal Clay consists of microscopic particles of silver or gold suspended in an organic binder to create a pliable material with a consistency similar to modeling clay. PMC silver clay and gold clay both, can be worked with the fingers and with simple tools to create a vast range of forms and unobtainable or too laborious with traditional techniques. New PMC3 contains even smaller particles of silver making it the strongest and lowest fired PMC product available.

When PMC is heated to high temperatures, the binder burns away and the metal particles fuse to form solid metal 99.9% pure that can be sanded, soldered, colored, and polished like conventional material.

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Posts: 1070
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 10-23-2003 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very impressive material. Of little interest to me since I like to pound on the metal. I works like clay and fires up into silver. The metal tends to be a bit porous and can be purchased so that it has minimal shrinkage when it is fired. Enamels can be applied to it and it has opened the field to those who were intimidated by the technology of metalsmithing.


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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1792
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 02-08-2011 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I am wondering if anybody has tried this and can show examples. I have thought about trying silver clay and/or copper clay as I don't have the equipment for traditional casting.

I have a couple of concerns about it:

    -how porous is the final product?[list]-do the finished products feel hefty like a similar piece in sterling or copper would feel?
    -since the water & clay disappears to leave only the silver, what is the degree of shrinkage?
    -is the final product structurally sound? (i worry about cast metal being porous & brittle)
    -can very fine detail be produced?
    -how are findings, such as jump rings and pin mechanisms, attached?
I saw some examples on one of the commercial websites and I wasn't too impressed. I don't know if it was the product or just aesthetic shortcomings by the people who made the items.[/list]

I'm automatically suspicious of "easy" products that replace any real process so I have held off buying metal clay to experiment with.

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Posts: 102
Registered: Dec 2005

iconnumber posted 02-08-2011 07:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denimrs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fascinating. I actually own something that has an element made of PMC, but I had no idea what it was. It is a very substantial necklace that I purchased in an online auction after Hurricane Katrina. The auction was jewelry that had been donated by the artists who made it. The goal was to raise money for the hurricane victims. This gigantic necklace caught me eye and I was the lucky winner.

The jewelry artist was Jeanne M. Bellone and the necklace is composed of a very heavy handmade sterling chain that she calls Queen's Chain. Additionally there is a large pendant that is made of vintage seed bead purse material that is "handset within one-of-a-kind fine silver (PMC)..." The pendant also has art glass beads and 3 sterling silver drops. The pendant is 5 3/4" long and the necklace weighs 3/4 of a pound -- very heavy.

This 3rd image is of the back which shows the PMC to best advantage.

Since I am not a designer/creator I can't really answer your questions. But, I might be able to get in touch with Jeanne Bellone and ask her to come onto the Forum if that would be of interest.


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Posts: 850
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 02-09-2011 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paul, I played with PMC 7 or 8 years ago as I was hoping it would be a good quick way to make original masters that then could be molded and cast.

In the end I used it for a quick way for 8th graders to make something in silver. I went in to my sons art class and gave each kid a piece of silver PMC. They then modeled their own ideas with loops for attaching and the art teacher fired them in the kiln. What came out was silver, bright and shiny and a little keepsake each kid got to take home.

For them it was quick and fun for me it was not ideal as it is clay and the amount of detail one gets is challenging. I am used to carving in hard wax which gives very fine detail so the PMC although quick would have had me going back in the metal stage to work it further. This would have been much more time.

It is very cool stuff that does every thing it advertises. I am sure if you Google it or go to a book store you can see some of the results some very clever people have with it.
The only thing to remember is that it is 999 so therefor very soft.

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Ulysses Dietz

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 02-11-2011 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
PMC is something we use here in our adult art classes, and I've handled some of the results. It is sort of a miracle material, rather hard to believe it does what it does (and who the heck thought it up anyway?!). I have yet to see any studio jewelry of a very high level of quality using PMC, but I'm sure it will be there soon if it isn't out there already. It is a popular craft medium, but at some point a great craft artist will use it to make something wonderful.

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