Precious Metal Clay

27 Jan

Precious Metal Clay is truly precious because it gives the jewelry designer the freedom to create totally unique piece of jewelry. It looks and feels like modeling clay, but it contains tiny particles of pure fine silver or pure 24K gold. It can be rolled, pinched, molded, impressed, extruded and sculpted into any shape.

The basic clay material is called lump form. It comes in a sealed foil packet and is ready to use. Lump form can be used to roll slabs or snakes, and can be molded or sculpted. It can be thinned with water or used as a paste. A rubber stamp or any textured object can be used to impress beautiful designs into the PMC before it is fired.

jewelry designing
Precious Metal Clay Circle Pendant
Fine silver, PMC copper, brass, and resin enamels

Slip form (or paste) comes in a jar or loaded in a syringe. The paste form is used to glue wet or dry PMC objects in place or for slip casting, for painting onto an object for a hollow form, and decoration. The syringe is used to extrude wire for decorating, setting stones, or filling cracks.

Paper form is a very thin sheet of clay that can be used to make bezels for objects to be set, used for ring shanks, or folded like origami. Shapes can be cut out with punches and applied as decoration. It can also be laminated with water to make it thicker.

This piece illustrates how PMC can be formed into any shape:
Precious Metal Clay jewelry
Abstract Precious Metal Clay Pendant

Man-made gemstones, like Cubic Zirconia, and many natural gemstones can be set into the clay either wet or dry, and safely fired in place. Porcelain, glass, dichroic glass, and parts such as clasps, can be fired along with the clay. You can even bond metal clay directly to sterling silver.

Artisans and craftspeople will enjoy making pendants, rings, earrings, or pins that can be free-form and trendy or your own version of a vintage piece. Using the Low Fire clay, you can experiment by adding beads, gemstones, or glass cabochons to create a truly unique design.

After the PMC object is fired in a kiln or with a torch, the clay part burns away, leaving you with a piece of pure gold or fine silver. The metal object can then be filed, sanded, carved, drilled, engraved, riveted, enameled, or polished to embellish the surface.

If you would like to learn more, there is an Excellent Resource for Precious Metal Clay at Squidoo.

Cool Tools for PMC
Amazing Art Clay Silver

Related posts:

  1. Metal and Clay Equals Jewelry
  2. Calling All Metal Clay Artists
  3. Metal Clay Artists: Where Do You Work?
  4. Polymer Clay Bead Beauty
  5. Metal Bracelets

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