Monday, May 9, 2011

Proud Mother Chickens

Good guess, but no. PMC does not stand for Proud Mother Chickens. Or Partially Melted Chocolate, or Pineapple Mango Cookies. It stands for Precious Metal Clay, and it's amazing!

Do you remember when you were a kid, and you got to play with Play-doh? I remember sitting at a table when I was little, making snakes, and birds nests full of eggs, and all kinds of stuff. After I had kids of my own, I learned that Play-doh is magical when it comes to calming kids down and keeping them quiet and busy for a while. I used to like to play with it right along with them. It's like one of those stress balls... all soft and squishy and relaxing.

Well, here I am, in my 40s, and I'm still playing. But I've graduated from Play-doh, and I've moved on to PMC! Anything you can make with Play-doh you can make with PMC... But it turns to silver, or bronze, or copper, or even gold!

Each type of PMC requires little differences in handling and techniques, but since I mostly use silver, I'll stick with that here. PMC (you can also find it under the brand name Art Clay) is made up of tiny particles of recycled silver that are mixed with an organic binder and water to form clay.  After it's been shaped into a masterpiece, it's dried, filed and sanded until it's just right, and then fired either in a kiln or with a butane torch. This burns off the organic binder, and sinters together the particles of silver. Sintering is different than melting. Sintering means that all the particles bind together at their contact points, so it keeps its shape instead of melting into a puddle of silver. What you have left is 99.9% pure silver, or fine silver, as opposed to sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure. One of the fun things about PMC is that you get a completely different look than what you get with traditional metalsmithing techniques.

PMC pressed into a mold I made from a honeysuckle leaf.

PMC cut into shapes, then joined together.

PMC mixed with water and painted onto a leaf.
PMC really lends itelf well to custom pieces of jewelry, too. It's easy to make a mold of something small that's sentimental, or to take a texture from something larger.

Made from a mold of an ancient Roman coin.

This was made from a texture I took from the bark of a pine tree

Is it any wonder I love PMC? You can find the rest of my jewelry here. Check it out, and let me know if you have any custom projects in mind! :)



  1. Wow I must try this, thanks for the tip- used to make all my jewellery as a teenager :-)))
    Thanks for the lovley feedback on my blog and for becoming a follower!
    I am your latest follower too.
    Have a great end of the week and week-end!

  2. Your jewelry is really pretty! I'd love to follow you! If you ever want to do a giveaway and have me feature you just let me know! :)

  3. Your pieces are so lovely!! I absolutely ADORE how delicate and feminine they are, as well as the gorgeous patina. I've also been prone to silver-jewelry-is-my-favorite-itis since I was young, so you're three for three in my book. ^_^ By the way, thank you for the kind comments on my post. I'm your newest follower and am really looking forward to seeing more of your work!!

    -Nicole @