I took a wonderful class this weekend on Precious Metal Clay (PMC) at Clay Space, taught by Lee Takasugi. PMC is a clay-like material that is a combination of fine particles of pure silver mixed with a binding agent. The binding agent burns away when the object is fired, leaving only the pure silver. This silver is more pure than sterling silver which is an alloy–a mix of silver with other metals. Precious metal clay is also called just “metal clay” or “art clay” and now there are several formulas, some with slower drying speeds and temperature ranges for firing. This patented material is only manufactured in Japan.
At the end of the day, we all left with at least one pair of earrings and a pendant. Everyone’s projects turned out great! Somehow each person can take the same exact materials and produce something entirely different with their own unique twist. ( Once I took a rug hooking class where we all used the exact same kit and still each one looked slightly different).
PMC takes impressions from stamping or carving very easily and fires quickly in an electric kiln. Thank goodness it’s a bit spendy to first get set up with all the materials, or I could see myself getting hooked on this. I recommend that everyone try working with this material at least once since the results are so good even for a complete beginner.