Trying to Get Started with PMC Metal Clay?
Precious Metal Clay is a unique material made up of particles of pure silver or gold mixed in an organic binder. It is available in several forms, but the most popular is the lump clay. Once fired you are left with fine silver or gold.
If you are just getting started with PMC, this post is full of tips, tutorials and tricks to help get you started along with where to buy materials and links to lots of projects.
A couple of things to start off with–if you are going to invest in a kiln, I recommend working with PMC to start off. If you are going to buy a hot pot to fire with, then you need to get PMC3 (the low temperature version).
Introduction to Precious Metal Clay
This book is an excellent reference for anyone who works with PMC. It is clearly written so a novice can follow, as well as provide backup to an expert looking for firing temp, time or options for glass, gold, etc. I looked at several books before deciding on this one – it has a good mix of expert advice and project inspiration.
Introduction to Precious Metal Clay from Wardell Publications art glass introduces precious metal clay, one of the most remarkable developments in silver and gold metal working since lost wax casting was developed thousands of years ago. An easy to understand teaching style is presented in this step by step book to guide crafters through the process of hand forming this remarkable clay material to produce distinctive silver and gold jewelry. Artist and instructor MaryAnn Devos uses 18 engaging projects to impart a broad understanding of the fundamentals. It looks, feels and is shaped just like potters clay but after firing all that is left is solid precious metal. The fabrication process requires much less equipment and training than traditional metal work, making it easily accessible to artists, hobby crafters, and fine jewelers. The material is so user friendly that people of any age or creative background can be instantly successful. It can be combined with many materials such as semi precious gems, glass, porcelain, ceramics, sculpture, and mixed metals, among others. Every successful artist develops a unique personal style. This product is available in fine silver and 24K gold. It is composed of microscopic metal particles, a non toxic organic binder and water.
What is Precious Metal Clay?
Pure silver or gold
Work, roll, cut, shape and fire versatile PMC like clay. After firing, it comes out of your oven as a pure silver object. PMC3 shrinks less and has a stronger molecular bond than original formula PMC. It fires at a lower temperature, allowing you to combine sterling findings with your PMC3 before firing. Create jewelry, beads, components-anything you can do with clay, you can do with PMC!
Please Note: Pricing is based on the precious metal content at market prices.
PMC Silver Mini Pot SetSilver Precious Metal Clay, 16 gms, PMC3PMC3TM Precious Metal Clay Starter Kit – Includes Micro-Torch by FMGMitsubishi PMC3 Precious Metal Clay Silver 27.8 gramsPMC3 Precious Metal Clay Silver Syringe Type 10 gramsMitsubishi PMC3 Precious Metal Clay Silver 55.5 grams(Japan Import)PMC Sheet – 5 Grams – Square
Please Note: PMC has a strong adverse reaction to contact with aluminum. Do not use aluminum tools or allow your PMC to come into contact with any aluminum object.
- Keep your PMC sealed in the package until you are ready to use it.
- Once out of the package, keep your PMC moist with a spray bottle.
- Never, never, never waste any of the PMC.
- Use PMC slip to “glue” your pieces together.
- Don’t use expensive tools. They will get ruined.
The Cardinal Rule of PMC
Do not waste a spec of your Precious Metal Clay. It can be reused or reconstituted.
PMC is a wonderful material to make beads.
Working with Precious Metal Clay
“I confess straight up to being a McCreight fan so maybe I am biased. However I have found his book to be one of the best to give my students. It is incredibly clear and consice. It is perfect for the person starting out in silver clay. Sure the glossy photos are missing, rather hand drawn step by steps, but you can follow easily. With 50 projects, there is ample opportunity for the beginner to find something that appeals and to gain confidence with this medium. Part Two is fabulous, excellent technical tips on a host of items, rehydrating, extruding, carving, ring sizing, making bails, use of patinas, and loads more. Part Three gives you the added bonus of How to make your own tools – and therefore save a few dollars. Being spiral bound is a bonus, always stays open. I recommend three books to my clay students, this is one of them, ( the other two – CeCe Wire and Sherri Haab.)A must for your library.”-~R. Eberhard “Eclectic Studio
Precious Metal Clay (PMC) is a material for jewellers and craft people which is as easy to manipulate as polymer clay, but when it is fired, the resulting object is 99.9per cent solid silver. This book describes how to work with PMC, including firing and finishing, and includes a set of projects.
Recommended PMC Books
Metal Clay In A Day
If you want to try your hand at metal clay, but you’re intimidated by the time commitment or cost, Metal Clay in a Day is the book for you.
Introduction to Precious Metal Clay
An easy to understand teaching style is presented in this step by step book to guide crafters through the process of hand forming this remarkable clay material to produce distinctive silver and gold jewelry.
Picture Yourself Creating Metal Clay Jewelry
This book provides you with all the tools, techniques, and information you need to produce one-of-a-kind metal clay necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more at home.
Metal Clay Magic: Making Silver Jewelry the Easy Way
Friendly and inviting introduction includes more than 20 appealing and easy to make projects..breathtaking gallery of projects.
PMC Technic: A Collection of Techniques for Precious Metal Clay
In this book, ten leading artists teach their specialty, with clarity, care, and passion. Innovative techniques are pesented with clear instructions and examples.
The Art of Metal Clay(with DVD):Techniques for Creating Jewelry and Decorative Objects
The Art of Metal Clay has introduced thousands of readers to metal clay-the amazing craft product that starts out as moldable, malleable clay and turns into real metal.
Metal Clay Jewelry: Projects. Techniques. Inspirations.
Perfect for every skill level–covering the basics through the cutting edge
Metal Clay The Complete Guide: Innovative Techniques to Inspire Any Artist
This thorough guide to metal clay jewelry features step-by-step instructions and basic information about materials and processes you can use as a beginner, or an advanced metal clay artist.
New Directions in Metal Clay: 25 Creative Jewelry Projects
CeCe Wire, a leader in the field, details all the newest innovations and clays.
Creative Metal Clay Jewelry: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration
Combine the clay with lampworked and fused dichroic glass, enamel, and beads.
Enameling on Metal Clay
Enameling on Metal Clay offers an exciting new technique to use with this versatile favorite.
Precious Metal Clay In Mixed Media
Precious Metal Clay in Mixed Media from Wardell Publications art glass introduces an innovative process from Precious Metal Clay that combines the playfulness of clay with the value and permanence of pure silver and 24K gold.
Highlight on Tim McCreight
Tim McCreight is a metalsmith, designer, author, and teacher. He received a BA from the College of Wooster in 1973 and an MFA from Bowling Green State University in 1975. He taught for twelve years at the Center for Crafts in Worcester, Massachusetts, and for the next fifteen years at Maine College of Art in Portland.
Tim has been working in metals since 1970 and along the way has published more than a dozen books and made four videotapes. He served a term as president of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), and has has been on the boards of Haystack, the American Craft Council and the PMC Guild. He has taught workshops in the United States, England, Canada, Mexico, and Japan. He writes for several magazines and consults for industry.
Tim McCreight is one of the pioneers with Precious Metal Clay, and his books are used as textbooks in art classes across the globe. His books are very thorough, and wonderful to use as reference. He is an expert on traditional jewelry design and Precious Metal Clay.
It has been ten years since Precious Metal Clay was introduced in the United States, and it is time to see what artists have done with this fascinating material. This book gathers for the first time work made by leaders in the field. A critical essay by noted designer Donald Friedlich and a technical explanation from scientist Darnall Burks make this a landmark volume for artists and collectors.
“There is no one better qualified or more appropriate to bring us this outstanding review of “The First Ten Years of Precious Metal Clay” than world-renowned metalsmith, teacher, author, jeweler and acknowledged PMC guru Tim McCreight. His prefatory remarks provide a personal look back at PMC’s birth in Japan and its subsequent introduction into the United States – a process in which he played a leading role. The essay by world-class metalsmith and jewelry artist Donald Friedlich on the “Progress and Potential” of PMC is an insightful and thought-provoking exploration, not just of this medium but of art and artists’ use of their media in general. And physicist Darnall Burks’ explanation of “The Science of PMC,” accompanied by Tina Carvalho’s amazing electron microscope images of sintered PMC, breaks down the physics into simple language that all of us can understand.
But the main focus of the book is the chapter titled simply, “The Decade,” which presents more than 200 pages of some of the most remarkable and ground-breaking PMC work from the past ten years. McCreight has selected a wide variety of impressive artists and striking art to represent the period, and while not all of them will appeal to every reader, it is obvious why each artist and piece was chosen for inclusion. And many of the pieces are absolutely breathtaking!
One of the most valuable features of the book is the layout of the gallery pages. Each high-quality photo is large and occupies its own page, allowing us to focus all our attention on one piece at a time and to examine all the astonishing detail inherent in each of the featured designs.
The book ends with a chronology of key historical events along with a helpful list of publications from the period.
This is a seminal work by this country’s leading advocate and authority on Precious Metal Clay. It’s beautiful enough to be considered a “coffee table book,” but it’s much richer and more valuable than mere “eye candy.” I know I will turn to it again and again, both for inspiration and for the pure pleasure of appreciating the extraordinary art captured in its pages.
I highly recommend adding this satisfying and important volume to your library. ” –Margaret Schindel
Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing
From Library Journal:
A professional metalsmith and teacher well known as the author of a standard text, The Complete Metalsmith (Davis, 1991. rev. ed.), McCreight offers a lavishly illustrated guide to techniques. As indicated by the title, this book covers metalworking fundamentals and is similar to Jinks McGrath’s The Encyclopedia of Jewelry-Making Techniques (LJ 11/1/95). Photographs of other artists’ pieces are interspersed throughout the text without any textual explanation, though evidently they are included as finished examples of the processes being discussed. No projects are included.
Complete Metalsmith, Professional Edition
I was blown away – this is truly complete. I hope it gets the recognition it deserves– it’s a masterpiece. — Bruce Baker Studio
If you are a super-serious metal worker, you’ll like this version, which is twice as big as the Student Edition. — Tammy Powley, About.com
–a smart, stylish cover and larger binding rings — expanded many topics — a legacy for future generations. — Tom & Kay Benham, Lapidary Journal
This handsome book is twice as large as the STUDENT EDITION. It covers the same material, but goes into greater depth. A rigid fabric cover and elastic band makes this a place to store sketches and notes; more than a book, it’s a practical tool.
Push Play for PMC
This was one of the first videos I bought on learning to use and work with PMC/metalclay – and it is still one of my favorites. The style of the video itself is comfortable and easy going, something I enjoy having on in the background in my studio. I have bought and watched I think every video DVD learning ever made on metal clay and jewellery techniques and this, in my opinion, is one of the better metal clay videos. Tim McCreight and Celie Fago are both excellent jewellers and each has a very different style so seeing them bounce thoughts off each other is a learning experience.
Listen in as two leaders of the PMC community share their thoughts and techniques for precious metal clay. Tim McCreight brings to the table two decades of experience as a metalsmith and teacher. Celie Fago began her artistic career in painting, then moved to polymer clay and now combines skills from all those areas with PMC. In a unique format, these two artists share ideas and swap jokes in a highly engaging and informative exchange.
Tim McCreight says, “It was a great treat to work with Celie. Instead of pretending to have a conversation with a camera lens, I was able to have a real dialog with a friend. I think this format allows us to be more genuine, with the result that the video is not only informative, but enjoyable. OK, at least not painful to watch, as some can be.”