Sunday, August 21, 2011

Precious Metal Clay (PMC) Classes

I finished my second PMC class yesterday, having taken the first one a couple months ago. Something sparked my interest this time, but I still felt very inadequate when working with the stuff. And I felt the teacher picked on me! Seriously, she was trying to correct all the things I was doing wrong, but I noticed I was the one in class with the most problems! But at the end of the day, I felt I had learned and improved. And I want to continue working with PMC.

The PMC classes were taught by Lora Hart. She is a wonderful teacher and I really recommend her. She is quite famous and highly qualified in the PMC field. Check out her blog and learn more about her. The blog has a wealth of information and a long list of jewelry artist sites. Unfortunately Lora said she would be moving to the East Coast next year.  I'll take a few more classes from her before she leaves.

Here's a photo of the two pieces I made in my classes. The first is the heart pendant with the TOO large bail. I guess I can always replace the bail with another later. What was interesting about making the heart was the texture on it. After the heart dried, we used a template with a cut out pattern and spread PMC slip on the template with a knife, like Spackle. Then carefully lifted the template off. The slip remained as a raised decoration. That has tons of possibilities!

The heart was treated with Black Max. I don't like the look. I'll remove it and try liver of sulfur.

The hinged piece wasn't what I expected to make at all. I thought we would be making a pendant that closed. This one does not close and was never intended to close. But now I know how to make a hinge out of PMC and will figure out how to make a closed one later. I added two jump rings to which I will add silver chain. In class Lora asked me how I was going to hang this piece. I said I would drill holes after it was fired. She dragged me to her work table, took out a twist drill and said I HAD TO DRILL THE HOLES NOW!! She very quickly twisted the small drill bit by hand into one corner of my piece.  Then told me to do the second hole. It worked. Nothing cracked. The hole was clean. It's something you would not do with dry stoneware clay .... it would crack. So I learned how strong PMC was. She also showed me dry PMC could be cut with a blade and it didn't crack.  Wow.

Have you had any experiences with PMC you'd like to share?

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