What Is Pmc 3 (Precious Metal Clay 3)

By Adam Hunter

Precious metal clay consists of small precious metal particles such as silver, and is combined with an organic, non toxic binder and water to turn it into clay like material. PMC 3 is now available in Fine Silver & 22ct Gold.

Precious metal clay can be modeled and sculpted like normal clay, allowing it to be hand shaped, cut, pressed, molded and stamped. Alternatively, it can be left to dry and then later carved into. Precious metal clay is always best used straight out of the pack, and it is recommended that the pack is equal to the size of your project. Until its fired precious metal clay can be re-constituted, no matter how dry it has become, by simply adding a few drops of water and leaving it to stand for a few hours.

Once fired in a kiln the non toxic binder burns away and the water evaporates. It can also be fired by a butane hand torch. Firing in a kiln gives greater control, as it allows multiple pieces to be fired in a controlled environment. If a butane torch is used it is less costly and more suited to smaller items. Once heated the particles fuse together and form a solid dense metal, and PMC3 only shrinks around 6% of its original size. Once fired silver PMC becomes fine i.e. 99.9% pure – and can be hallmarked as fine silver.

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Firing leaves the finished piece in its original state, giving the jeweler a choice of type of finish. This means that the metal does not have to have a high shine usually associated with precious metals, but can be finished to give a matt or semi-matt appearance simply by barreling or using a stainless steel brush. The same process & effects can be achieved with both the silver or 22ct gold PMC.

If care is taken whilst working to lay down plastic or paper over the working area, this will catch any left overs, then these scraps of precious metal clay can then be reused. It is important to try to use rubber tools, like shapers because whatever precious metal dries on the tip will fall off when the rubber is flexed.

Typically PMC is used by jewelery makers to create pieces with fine detail – pendants, earrings, brooches and rings. It also increasingly used to add decorative touches onto other precious metal pieces. With the advent of 22ct PMC designers are now combining clays of different metals like gold and silver, to produce stunning two tone effects.

Cookson provides precious metal clay (PMC) in sealed foil packets to keep it moist and workable, or alternatively in syringe or as paste forms. Other tools mentioned above at the Cookson website include, work mats and sheets, balm to stop clay sticking, shape cutters for cutting clay into set shapes as well as all types of brushes.

As experience grows, jewelery makers will be able to discover how simple, yet how adaptable precious metal clay is, and learn to love the creativity and flexibility of this unique product.

About the Author: Adam Hunter – E-commerce Marketing Manager of Cookson Precious Metals offer a choice of supplies from over 10,000 products including

jewellery tools

, findings, precious metal clay, wire and metal sheet.


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