What is PMC?
My pieces are made using Precious Metal Clay (PMC). PMC is composed of fine silver particles held together with water and an organic binder. Metal clay (which has a consistency similar to modeling clay) allows artists extraordinary creativity because it can be formed into nearly any desired shape. The heat of a kiln firing burns off the binder and what is left is pure, precious metal - fine silver (.999 silver, which is 99.9% silver vs. sterling, which is only 92.5% silver). Bronze metal clay was released in 2008 and is worked the same way as the fine silver; it is comprised of 89% copper and 11% tin. Copper clay was released in 2010.
There are different types of metal clay, such as lump, syringe, slip, and paper. The firing times differ depending on the formulas of each type of clay. The main difference between the various types is the amount of metal mixed with the amount of organic material. In all cases, the binder burns away, leaving the pure sintered metal. Shrinkage of between 8% and 30% occurs (depending on the product used).
Sintered PMC pieces are finished using traditional metalsmithing techniques including polishing, soldering, antiquing, and application of 24K gold.
The following photos give you a sense of what this material looks like during each phase of the creation process.
As a PMC Certified Artisan and designer of unique handcrafted jewelry, I hope you enjoy my pieces.