Why I Like Working with PMC

by lakeerieartists

I was lucky enough to be one of the very first people who were introduced to this still fairly new jewelry making medium.

I have been working with Precious Metal Clay for about 15 years now. I was lucky enough to be one of the very first people who were introduced to this still fairly new jewelry making medium.

Many people are still not aware of what Precious Metal Clay is even after it has been available for artists to use for all of this time. Precious Metal Clay is a byproduct that was developed by Mitsubishi Corporation in the process of making another product. PMC consists of fine particles of pure silver or gold that has been embedded into an organic binder. The result is a clay like material that is primarily made up of the precious metal.

I Love Working with Precious Metal Clay

What makes Precious Metal Clay so unique is that an artist can work with it almost exactly like ceramic clay. It is moist, moldable material very similar to clay, and it can be formed into just about any shape through etching, molding, and stamping because it is soft. Once the Metal Clay is dried and fired, the binder burns away, and you now are left with the pure silver or gold. The silver material is fine silver or 995 silver. That means that it is made of 99.5% silver. Sterling silver is 925 silver or 92.5% silver. The rest is usually made up of copper.

PMC allows me to create jewelry in fine silver and gold much, much quicker than I could by traditional metalsmithing. It cuts the time for producing and designing pieces way down because it doesn't have to be cut and soldered like traditional metal working. PMC is very flexible in how it can be used, and lends itself to new techniques and designs. Precious Metal Clay can be made into a endless variety of styles from traditional smooth and shiny high gloss finish to a rough organic look and everything in between.

I have found that PMC allows me as a jeweler to have much more freedom over my designs.

My personal style of creating jewelry is an earthy, organic style. I prefer to have uneven measurements, shapes, and imagery. I often take images and cut them up, and put them back together in an unequal way just to get a rough, collage type feel. I also typically make pairs of earrings that match in shape but not in design. I guess you can say that I am a little off center.

I also like to combine different textures. So for instance, I often put together pearls which have a smooth, milky appearance, with crystal which has clear, light refracting, shiny, flat sides, with my rough, organic PMC components. Sometimes I add natural stone, or vintage glass.

There are not really very many good resources yet on PMC. These are some that I recommend.

The Art of Metal Clay (With Dvd): Techniques for Creating Jewelry and Decorative Objects

The best-selling Art of Metal Clay returns! Now with an exciting DVD featuring three all-new projectsSince it was first published in 2004, The Art of Metal Clay has introduced ...

Only $16.79
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. Tonya ...

$9.5  $7.5
New Directions in Metal Clay: 25 Creative Jewelry Projects

Metal clay is the most exciting material in jewelry design today: the procedures for molding and shaping are simple, the tools few, and the results stunning. CeCe Wire, a ...

$15.6  $11.0
Working with Precious Metal Clay (Jewelry Crafts)

Working with Precious Metal Clay is the first American book for artists and hobbyists who want to know more about this exciting new art material. Techniques are taught through ...

$11.54  $7.6
PMC Decade

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 ...

$34.95  $50.0
Creative Metal Clay Jewelry: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration

The fabulous techniques, found here with instructions, lavish photos, and projects open up endless creative possibilities. Combine the clay with lampworked and fused dichroic ...

$17.55  $14.84

Have you ever tried working with PMC?

Jewelry by Paula Atwell

Simple Necklace by Paula Atwell
Simple Necklace by ...
Earrings by Paula Atwell
Earrings by Paula A...
Heart of Pearl Necklace by Paula Atwell
Heart of Pearl Neck...
Wind Blows Earrings by Paula Atwell
Wind Blows Earrings...
Mother and Child Necklace by Paula Atwell
Mother and Child Ne...
Pendant by Paula Atwell
Pendant by Paula At...

To Purchase Paula Atwell Jewelry

Lake Erie Artists Gallery
Lake Erie Artists Gallery is a gallery collection of art by local Cleveland, Ohio artists from in order to offer wonderful art gifts in a variety of media to the discerning public.

Jewelry Should Be Comfortable and Fun

I don't take myself too seriously as a jeweler. By that, I mean, that although my work is high quality, and mid range pricewise, I think people should feel comfortable wearing what I make, and just have fun with it.

Maybe some day I will be the Ralph Lauren of the jewelry world, but even then, I will still make simple, organic styles that can go dressy or with a pair of jeans. Fun, possibly symbolic, and earthy.

In my mind, jewelry should become a part of your personality or reflect your personality or mood.  I wear a lot of my own jewelry after designing it just to make sure that it feels right on my body, and is comfortable to wear.  Then it is ready to go to market for sale.

PMC Kilns

PMC Certification

I am a certified Precious Metal Clay instructor through Rio Grande which is the prime distributor and trainer of PMC artists and teachers in the U.S. And if you are serious about working with PMC, I highly recommend getting the certification after you have worked with PMC and become proficient at using the material.

The certification class is a three day intense learning course.  Each class is taught by a master instructor that has been working with Precious Metal Clay for many years and is up to date on all the new developments.   Because PMC is still so new, Mitsubishi is constantly coming out with new products and improvements to the material. 

If you are interested in more information on PMC, follow the links to the Precious Metal Clay blog, or read the PMC tutorials listed below.

It is kind of funny, but the tool I use the most when working with Precious Metal Clay is one of the cheapest tools that I own, my set of needle files.
Updated: 02/06/2015, lakeerieartists
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Dyan Brisson on 06/22/2012

Hi ,
I love pmc silver art clay . I have been using it for about a year . I had to take a break from it for a bit for medical reasons but I am back at it now . I love the silver but it can be pricey and I want a change . I would love to use the brass and copper clays but I need a kiln . I tried the ceramic one but honestly it didn't work . Can you give me some advice on what kiln I should get that isn't going to put me into the poor house ?
By the way I make mermaids and starfish with my clay . It really is so enjoyable . Thank you for whatever advice you can give .

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