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pmc question

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  • pmc question

    For all you experts on metal clay. If I were to cut out little flowers like the sterling silver flowers I already make, should I make them flat, fire them and then dome them before enamelling, or would it be better to fire them already domed? Also, when enamelling them in the kiln, should I support them to stop them slumping, or will they hold their shape without support? I've never been very successful enamelling with pink on silver, so thought I'd give metal clay a go.

    Also, can you mix pmc and artclay as I've got some of each, ie clay paste, syringe etc.?
    Best wishes

  • #2
    Don't know if I can be of any help, as I wouldn't consider myself to be an expert by any means, but for what it's worth ...

    Not sure exactly what you mean by 'dome', but I assume you mean adding your enamelling powder/product. I would suggest firing first and polishing before you enamel. I've added a little glass to items I've made trying it both before and after firing. The big difference I've found is that if you do it before firing the background to your enamel stays a dull white. If you fire, polish, then apply enamel and refire you get the shimmer of silver coming through your enamel. (hope that makes sense )

    Re slumping when being refired, I'm really not too sure - perhaps someone with more experience could help. I tend to put a little 'bend' into my flowers before firing and so far have not had any problem with slump. However, I torch fire my items and it may be different for kiln firing.

    I've used both PMC and Artclay, although I've never tried mixing them. I think there are some types that need different firing temperatures, so that might be a consideration. However, I would think you could use a paste syringe from one brand on a clay base from another.

    Not sure if this will help. If not hope someone out there will be able to.

    PS Had a peak at your website - really loved your jewellery!
    Last edited by Linden Blossom; 31-03-2009, 08:37 PM. Reason: Forgot something
    Regards, Carol


    • #3
      Thanks Carol for your kind comments.

      What I mean by doming is that I put the flower in a doming block and hammer it into a concave shape before enamelling it. Just wasn't sure whether to dome the metal clay flower before or after firing it. Hope that makes sense.
      Best wishes


      • #4
        Here's how I make my little domes & flowers in PMC / Art Clay Silver
        1) Go out and buy a bag of small marbles.
        2) Stick them down with blue tack so they dont roll
        3) Cut out flowers curve & dry them over the marble
        4) Fire them in a fibre blanket for support so they keep their domes
        5) Enamel as usual

        Nic xx
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        • #5
          Ah, thanks Nic. I'll give it a go.
          Best wishes


          • #6
            Hi Carole,

            If you have any pmc questions you can email me anytime!! Like the others said you can dome before and after but bear in mind if you are putting the holes into the clay before firing (I'm assuming these are the flowers like your hoops) the holes will get bigger if you dome after! I've had this happen when I have made beads so I use the marble method for quite domed things and an artist paint pallete for slight domes.

            Hope things are good with you.

            Lucy x



            • #7
              Thanks Lucy, I should have thought to ask you. I still haven't got round to trying it out!
              Best wishes