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PMC - Precious Metal Clay

PMC ring made by Judy Cost $230 per student

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Metal clay is a clay-like medium used to make jewelry, beads and small sculptures. It consists of very small particles of metals (such as silver, gold, platinum, or copper) mixed with an organic binder and water. Alloys such as bronze or steel are also available. Metal clay can be shaped just like any soft clay, by hand or using molds. After drying, it can be fired in a variety of ways including in a kiln, with a handheld gas torch, or on a gas stove. The binder burns away, leaving the pure, sintered metal. Shrinkage of between 8% and 30% occurs (depending on the product used).

PMC Peace PendantSilver metal clay results in objects containing 0.999 pure silver - aka fine silver, which is ideal for enameling. Although gold metal clay is much more expensive to use, the color and richness is phenomenal. It can be used to make stunning solid gold objects or used sparingly to make beautiful accents on silver pieces.

Lump metal clay is sold in sealed packets to keep it moist and workable. The silver versions are also available as a softer paste in a pre-filled syringe which can be used to produce extruded forms, in small jars of slip and as paper-like sheets, from which most of the moisture has been removed.

PMC flower pendantPrecious Metal Clay or PMC was developed in the early 1990s in Japan by metallurgist Dr. A. Morikawa. The material consists of microscopic particles of pure silver or fine gold powder and a water-soluble, non-toxic, organic binder which burns off during firing. Success was first achieved with gold, and later duplicated with silver. The original formula of PMC, now called "Standard", must be fired in a kiln at 900 C (1,650 F) and has a shrinkage rate of 30%. Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi, later developed two additional versions of silver called "PMC+" which can be fired as low as 810 C (1,490 F) for 30 minutes, and "PMC3", which can be fired as low as 599 C (1,110 F) for 45 minutes. Both PMC+ and PMC3 have a shrinkage rate of 12-15% and may also be fired with a handheld torch for 4-7 minutes. A 22k gold gilding material called "Aura 22", and lump 22k yellow gold clay (an alloy of fine silver and gold) are also available.  PMC also manufactures an 18k gold clay and a platinum clay, but these latter two are only marketed in Japan.

 

A Classic Heirloom

When you pass on something special to one of your heirs, it is called an "heirloom".  When that item is very special - and valuable, it is called a classic heirloom.  We sell everything needed for you to create that piece of wearable art that you can be proud to pass on to the next generation.  This is why we call our bead & jewelry shop "Heirloom Classics".