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by bettyD

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I have quite a few orders on at the moment so I chose to stay in last
night to get on with some. This is my first go with PMC clay, I had
some unfounded reservations about it - it's weird - like porcelain
clay that has tiny silver particles in it. When dry, you fire off the
clay and end up with just the fine silver fused together (with about a
10% shrinkage). I bought some so that I could do some requests that
would normally require casting but in the end i find sculpting much
more enjoyable to do.
The end result of PMC is good - feels harder than sheet but is
actually purer than sterling. I've been reworking with a diamond barr
to get the kind of 'cross-hatched' textured effect on the silver, like
a button illustrated maybe. I textured the apple in the same way. I
still have my reservations on the fixing as it means that off-chain
the button isn't truly a button but all my other attempts looked crass
and I am not keen on chain running through the holes, so on-chain I
think this works best.

Factotum says:

I've never worked with PMC; like you, I've been rather skeptical. What temperature do you fire it up to?
Nice button!

21st Nov 2010, 16:07

bethmadethis says:

Depends which you get - you can get ones with low firing temperatures of 700, you can only use a torch for small amounts otherwise you need to kiln it for about ten minutes (something I know little about) but! I discovered you can get it embedden into paper! So you can do intricate cutting and then burn off or make folds and kiln! origami silver? amazing.

Yes I was such a purist but when it turned out this stuff is purer I had to reasses, plus i was just getting too many orders asking for casting type things and turning them down - I couldn't smelt on my dining room table! the fumes alone are bad enough nevermind the possible fire hazard so this is a good alternative, i find it so strange that it doesn't feel as soft to file afterwards though.

21st Nov 2010, 16:36

Factotum says:

Part of my reluctance is that I suspect it's a very expensive alternative. I'll have to look into it one of these days.

21st Nov 2010, 16:44

Jane Doe says:

Sounds fascinating,
looks great too

21st Nov 2010, 16:50

bethmadethis says:

You're right. It is probably easily twice as expensive as sheet, i've no idea about ore. But then it's kind of quicker too if you're sculpting so if time = money it might be a more economical opton. I was a bit shocked though, how little you get for your money. That said, i was expecting to use about 1/2 a 15g pack for this but in the end it was more like 1/3 or a quarter, so the small amount i bought might go further than i thought it would.
I think it's probably most useful to add onto sheet and wire, to add more organic touches to things - I'm making a ring someone's asked me for and I'm building a setting for it out of this - seems a more economical use for the stuff but the shrinkage is a bit of pain.

21st Nov 2010, 17:02

swamprose says:

I've been looking at this stuff for ages. I like it because it's like clay--can be organic, sculptural. Hmm. think I know what to ask for at

22nd Nov 2010, 13:04

beth nli says:

clay on a minute scale :) the pack size is perhaps a similiar amount to a stick of gum so you really have to plan how you are going to use it first - which is ok. designing things first is always a good idea regardless of if you're working with precious materials or not - time is always precious eh?

22nd Nov 2010, 14:50

Viv says:

yes doesn't seem like your money is going a long way !
And I used to think 'fimo' was expensive!

23rd Nov 2010, 03:47

taniwha says:

It looks good. Like the humour of aa button too.

23rd Nov 2010, 06:57

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