Precious Metal Clays (PMC)
Precious Metal Clays
Though rare, it is possible for certain individuals to experience skin rash or itchiness after contact with PMC. If you have a reaction, discontinue use. Consult a physician if the problem persists. Wash hands after use. PMC is nontoxic and conforms to ASTM D-4236
Precious Metal Clay is a combination of water, binders, and small particles of either silver, gold or platinum. It is molded into a desired shape then heated in a kiln to remove the binder and fuse the metal powder into a solid form. The result retains all the marks of the maker, transformed into a precious and durable object.
Keep the PMC tightly wrapped until ready to use. For long term storage, seal it in a plastic bag with a dampened tissue. Apply a thin layer of olive oil to hands and tools before working. Avoid drafts and lamps that will dry the clay as you work. Tools for shaping PMC include ceramic tools, rubber stamps, cookie cutters, and many household items like pens, playing cards, toothpicks, combs. etc.
Use water to seal joints and smooth surfaces, but be careful not to add too much. Refresh PMC at the end of a work session by adding a few drops of water and rewrapping in plastic film. Small scraps can be moistened and saved as paste. Dry the work, either at room temperature or with the heat of a lamp or hair dryer.
PMC can be fired in any kiln that will hold the correct temperature for the required time. A small programmable kiln is ideal. Set the work on ceramic bisque tiles, soft brick, or soldering pads. Irregular shapes should be supported on alumina hydrate or vermiculite - avoid breathing any fine dust. Inexpensive disposable saggers can be improvised from terra cotta flowerpots and saucers. After firing, PMC can be quenched or allowed to air cool. Do not quench work that contains non-metal implants like gems or glass.
After firing, PMC has a matte white surface. To make a reflective polish, burnish with a smooth steel tool or scrub with fine steel wool or a soft brass brush. PMC can be soldered, plated, enameled, and patinated.