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Creative Casey's Blog

Sunday, August 11, 2013

PMC Jewelry Kicks Ass!

I've been wanting to take a PMC jewelry making class for over a year. I first heard about this through a colleague when I saw a silver ring she was wearing and asked her about it. She mentioned taking a PMC jewelry class at the Creative Workshop and making it in less than 3 hours. I looked into and signed up for a class this past January but it ended up being canceled. The only other time to take it at that place was during the day (which obviously doesn't work when you are working during the day).

A couple of months ago when I was at Studio 34 to make the hot glass beads the owner mentioned that they have PMC classes. We finally connected on a workable time and I was able to take the class this past week.  The teacher was Janice McKay Wiggins who has her own business JMW Silver and is a local art teacher. Her Esty shop can be found at:

One of the cool things about attending this class on this day was that Studio 34 and it's owneMarilynne Lipshutz were just featured in the Sunday D&C Living Social on the front page. What was even cooler to me was finding out that Marilynne was a recently retired psychotherapist who opened the studio in 2001 because of her love for creating.

So moving's the skinny on PMC (Precious Metal Clay):

Metal clay is a crafting medium consisting of very small particles of metal such as silvergold, bronze, or copper mixed with an organic binder and water for use in making jewelrybeads and small sculptures. Originating in Japan in 1990, metal clay can be shaped just like any soft clay, by hand or using molds. After drying, the clay can be fired in a variety of ways such as in a kiln, with a handheld gas torch, or on a gas stove, depending on the type of clay and the metal in it. The binder burns away, leaving the pure sintered metal. 

How neat is this medium! In 2.5 hours using 9 grams of silver PMC I made 2 sets of earrings and a pendant necklace. I learned the basics and picked it up pretty easily because it's very much like using regular clay, sculpty or fimo clay.  In the end I used patina to darken my silver and lightly sanded off the upraised portion of my design to the original silver look.  Later when I got home I added some beads to the earrings and got a chain for the necklace.  

My goal is to get back to the studio on an open studio day where I can just purchase the PMC, use the materials in the studio and then pay for firing in the kiln to make some more pieces. Through asking questions I'm pretty sure I can add layers and pattern both sides of a piece on my own and through experimentation.  This is definitely a material I'd like to continue to work with. If only silver wasn't quite so expensive. $30 for 9 grams!  I made the necklace and matching earrings for my sister for her birthday. I can still show a picture because my sister doesn't follow my blog or ever look on it to see what I'm too. Therefore she won't see her b-day present! Her loss. :)

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