Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Making of a PMC Piece

Below is the web version of a small pictoral I have made to display with my PMC pieces at shows. It is a very simplified outline of the process I go through when making a piece of jewelry out of PMC.

The Making of a PMC Piece

PMC (Precious Metal Clay) is a clay consisting of tiny silver particles in an organic binder. It comes in a lump and can be worked with simple tools much like any other clay.

While wet, the PMC is shaped and cut...

. . . Assembled and allowed to dry.

When the PMC is dry, repairs and refinements are made and the greenware is filed smooth.

When it is completely dry, the PMC is fired at a temperature just under the melting point of the metal for a length of time to allow the metal particles fuse together.

After firing, the silver is fully sintered. It is burnished to compact the structure of the silver particles. (The piece appears to have a white film on it. In actuality, that is the silver molecules sort of "standing up" and burnishing compacts them, making the piece shinier). At this point, the piece is fine silver (99.9 percent silver) and can be filed, soldered, polished or worked like any other metal.

This piece was patinaed with liver of sulphur.

Below are some examples of finished PMC pieces made by me.


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