29 April 2009

My thoughts on art clay silver (PMC)

So this post is mainly for Holly, I hope you are reading! :)

I haven't been working with silver clay for very long.  I remember I kept seeing "art clay silver" for sale on the website where I used to buy my polymer clay but I never really took any notice of it.  I just clicked on it one day and read about this clay that once it had been fired would turn to pure silver, a higher silver content than sterling, I thought wow!
I booked myself on a intro to silver clay course and loved it, I then saved up went and completed my level 1 in art clay.  Believe it or not I never touched silver again at home until February this year one I bought my kiln.  I saved up for my kiln as I didn't want to torch fire.  You can get the same results with torch firing but you can melt the clay if you get the torch flame too hot, or you could not fire it long enough and it could become brittle.  Silver clay is expensive and I didnt want to mess it up.  
So you could say I have only really been working with it now for about 4 months and I love it! It is totally different from working with polymer clay for a start I have found that I need to think in advance what I am going to make as the silver clay just dries to quickly so there is no time for messing about!  With polymer I used to just sit there and fiddle about until I came up with something that I like, I cant do that with silver clay.  There is also silver paste also know as "slip" this stuff is the best thing, you can buy the paste but there really is no need as all it is is watered down silver clay.  Or I would just buy the one pot then you can just keep topping it up with bits of clay that have become hard or the sanded off bits from when you have been sanding in the dry state.  The best thing about silver clay is that you can fine tune your piece once it has dried before firings,  sanding with either a file or fine sand paper.

I could go on and on about silver clay as there is lots to find out and learn so if you are curious, definately give it a go.


pollyhyper said...

I'm reading! Thank you so much - I am so interested in PMC. How much does an inexpensive kiln cost? Do you recommend a brand?

I better get started working all the PC I have lying around before I invest, but it's something to motivate me (which I need right now). Maybe I'll put all my earnings in savings towards a PMC set-up.

Thanks for the post! I feel honored. :)

Lou said...

My kiln was just under £600 but that was brand new, you can get them second hand or a smaller cheaper one also. Here is a link for paragon I think they are the most popular, mine is a sc2 with bead door and window


If you didnt want to buy a kiln at first though you can always use a blow torch too. I would just google for kilns as there are quite a few.
I need to start making pc things again while I wait for my silver pieces to sell as the silver clay is expensive!

Anyway I help this helps, thanks for reading :)

artemissne said...

Paragon has great kilns! I've got the SC3 by the way, the same model with the bead door. So...are you also a glass lampworker? Or have you got the intention to try it?

I must warn you: it's very addictive. ;-)