Friday, November 19, 2010

Precious Metal Clay Book and Foray

Almost a year ago, my fiance got me a small packet of precious metal clay (PMC) and a book, The Art of Metal Clay by Sherri Haab, because I had expressed interest in making my own pendants.

The book is a good one; it contains almost everything you could possibly want to know about the basics of working with this material, including techniques, methods for modeling, an overview of the different types of metal clay available, different ways to fire it, and how to finish pieces made with metal clay. It proved to be a very useful resource.

This particular PMC that my fiance bought me was a silver one. Sometime over the summer, I made a tiny owl pendant that I set out to dry and then forgot about. At any rate, my fiance bought a torch and fired the pendant using it. It turned out quite nice for our first-ever piece! If my camera were working, I'd post a picture of it here. I think I shall draw it and then try to get a scan of the drawing so you can at least see what it sort of looks like.

Some things that didn't go so well---there was a crack that grew longer and actually snapped during the drying process; part of the pendant was fired too directly for too long and bubbled up and popped off, and some details were lost. The first one my fiance caught. Sherri Haab offered advice in her book on how to fix fissures in the clay. He did as she advised and all you can see now is a faded line. The bit that popped off can probably be glued back on. However, the bubble and the loss of details are permanent. I will just have to write those off as learner's mistakes and do differently next time. :)

I was wondering if any of my loverly readers or watchers out there have worked with this material before and whether any of you know how to glue a piece back on (what kind of glue, how to go about it, where there is a good resource somewhere about such things, etc. etc.), and whether any of you know if, even after firing, the cracks could still cause the metal to break somehow? Forgive me, I am new to this!

I do love my little owl pendant and can't wait until he's fixed so I can make something wonderful with him! :3

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Higgins Design Studio said...

I have not worked with PMC, but I am certified to teach Art Clay Silver etc...

With Art Clay, there is a product called Oil Paste... you can use it to fill cracks in fired pieces, as well as attach fired pieces together. Otherwise, the crack MAY cause problems later, you may want to do some creative wrapping with wire to disguise the crack, and be there to catch it if it does break. And to glue, use a tiny dab of E-6000 or some GS Hypo Cement.

Can't wait to see your owl!

My Life Under the Bus said...

I too have that book - but haven't gotten any pmc yet.I have read torch firing can be tricky and you can have problems if the clay isn't dried properly - perhaps if it sat around it was unevenly absorbing some moisture from the atmosphere?