Silver Workshop

Marti Robinson gave a harried workshop on the Design of Precious Metal Clay jewelry creation.  Materials needed are very similar to the creation of ceramic sculpture, except the actual ingredient clay.  PMC3 (precious metal clay) comes in syringe, slip, and clay.  They clay can be ordered online and is available through precious metal magazines.  There are two brands but PMC3 by Mitsubishi Fun Materials is the brand recommended by Marti Robinson.

Supplies Needed:

  • PMC3 clay
  • PMC3 slip jar
  • PMC3 loose syringe
  • Cup of water
  • Badger Balm (or something similar, like olive oil)
  • ¼” PVC pipe section about 6-8” long
  • 2 slats of matte board about 1/16” thick
  • Coffee stirrer
  • Textured plastic
  • Butcher paper
  • Ceramic tools
  • Butane Torch
  • Toaster oven.

PMC3 clay dries quickly, but is still workable for 15-20 minutes without cracking or becoming stiff.  It takes an hour or so to dry thoroughly without aid of a Toaster oven.  All working surfaces should be Lightly covered w/ a resist like Badger Balm or olive oil.  This is to prevent the clay to stick to the working surface.  The clay then should be wedged and placed on the textured surface and rubbed gently to the thickness of the poster or matt board width, then cut to shape, leaving enough area to roll over the Coffee stirrer and bond w/ the other surface. By using water, slip, and a brush you form a stable bond for the silver clay to bond after you roll.  Certain gems can be inset in the raw clay to provide sparkle, but not all gems are good under heat.  Once the silver clay is shaped, it is dried, and fired.  The firing process creates a fine silver that is more pure than sterling.  The silver metal in the clay fuses during the process.   The organic substance in the clay burns away.  A variety of items can be created using this process the limitation is the budget ($27 a packet of clay that is about the size of a silver dollar), imagination, and the availability of a fire source.

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