Post by dishragsjewelry on Nov 27, 2011 10:14:10 GMT -6
I'm interested in using precious metal clay. I've poo pooed it in the past because I felt like it was cheating (compared to the more traditional lost wax method). After pricing out the equipment for the lost wax method and looking into PMC I'm realizing that it might be worth checking out.
I'm curious what are your opinions on PMC vs.other traditional metal working methods? I do a lot of soldering with silver currently but have some ideas that will lend themselves better to a molding process.
Post by koolbraider on Nov 27, 2011 15:09:50 GMT -6
You mean that using PMC feels like cheating? The only cheating in making jewelry is taking someone else's piece of jewelry and putting your name on it. Do what works for you. In an earring swap I received a beautiful pair of sterling silver ones from "2bellesandabead". The lovely flower soldered on the bottom was actually half of a silver bead cap flattened and soldered onto the bottom of the bezel. Should they have created their own flower? Nah! Their genius was in seeing that a bead cap could be flattened and used; and yes, this has been done a few times here on this forum but always done differently: material, type, whole of half. Each media requires its own skills. PMC is no different from any other media.
Post by beadyeyes2 on Nov 27, 2011 21:50:41 GMT -6
I still haven't tried PMC, although I have wanted to for quite some time...I agree with Sue's opinion that the only cheating would be putting your name on someone else's design...There are lots of ways to use PMC and they all require a different skill set and this work can be as original as any piece of fabricated metal work....Go for it!
Post by dishragsjewelry on Nov 29, 2011 23:27:38 GMT -6
I should have picked a different word than 'cheating'! Being 'old school' appeals to me and PMC is new to me. I did lost wax in college so it seems familiar although I think the teacher took on some of the steps himself.
I'll rephrase my previous message by saying I'm looking for information from people who have used the lost wax method and/or the PMC method. Any pluses or minuses of one or the other?
I work in PMC - It is another technique in your tool box just like soldering, forging, fold forming,etc.. The more techniques you develop the easier it is to express yourself in your work.
If we are considering 3 categories of metal work - fabrication of wire and sheet metal - casting - and PMC. The structural integrity of the metal is in that order. PMC is the most porous and perhaps the most brittle. There are some things I would not use it for because of this problem.
The majority of my work is fabricated, but in some pieces I use PMC elements and fabricate the areas that will receive stress.
It is much less expensive than lost wax casting, more immediate and just as effective.
I would highly recommend you first make your piece out of modeling clay. When you have your design and order of construction worked out then make another. Take the clay elements off your second one and ball them up. This will give you a good guess at the amount of PMC you will need to make each element in the design.
Take a class or workshop - If the instructor is half decent it is worth every penny.
I've been "playing" with Art Clay Silver (similar to PMC; just a different manufacturer. ACS is made of recycled materials, which is one reason I like working with it), and it is a LOT of fun.
It takes just as much practice as any other technique, and I like forged's suggestion of using modeling clay to practice with. I've heard that porcelain clay is a good practice medium as well.
What's great about it when you're just learning as I am is that there isn't a huge initial investement in tools and such...you can do it at your kitchen counter and use household tools! Making small pieces and firing them with a torch is a great start. I'm looking forward to learning a lot more and perhaps investing in a kiln someday, but for now creating small charms and such is perfect. I've even sold a few pieces!