This afternoon I was lucky enough to attend a Precious Metal Clay workshop at the Skinny Hippo in Abingdon. It was taught by Lisa Neal who used to be my silver jewellery teacher. I’d heard about PMC a few times but I didn’t know that it was created my Mitsubishi for the wives of their workers to make things at home. It is basically a clay that becomes 99.9% silver when fired. It is pretty pricey & comes in very small batches that have to be used within a week if opened. It also requires a different set of tools than the usual silver I work with.
That being said it is very easy to work with. If you make a mistake you can roll out your clay & start again. It’s very sticky so you have to be careful not to get yourself covered in it!
These are the beginning of my earrings. I created a pattern in them with some rubber templates. This was done by rolling out my clay & then rolling it on the rubber templates. I had to make the the little holes at the top which is why they look a little bit, ahem, special! Then you dry the item using a hairdryer – this takes about two minutes for something small like these earrings. If what you’ve made is bigger than a 50p piece it would need to go in a kiln for a while. If you have something small like these then you can heat them using the mini-blow torches used for soldering my usual jewellery or the ones that you might use to set the sugar on your creme brulee at home! Once you’ve done that you need to rub it with a metal wire brush until the silver shows.
This would be a great introduction to silver jewellery if you’d never made any before. You have to be quite gentle with it at different stages but the end result is not only produced really quickly but it also looks pretty decent. I’d never used PMC before but I’d definitely do it again & am hoping to go to another class in the new year.
In the three hour workshop we made a pair of earrings & a pendent. The Skinny Hippo was a lovely place to have the class & has loads of crafty things on offer, which I’d love to have a go at, pennies permitting! Below is my favourite thing from the day – my button pendent. As you may know I love buttons. Now I can wear one everyday! x