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How to get a shiny finish on PMC?

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  • How to get a shiny finish on PMC?

    Hi everyone, I'm wondering if anyone works with PMC and can help me please? I've been doing a few bits of fingerprint jewellery, but the finish on the bits I've done hasn't been as good as I would like and I was hoping someone might be able to give me some advice to improve my pieces!
    The process I am going through is: When the clay has dried I've been sanding down with 600 and 1200 grit sandpaper, then torch firing - is it worth using finer grit papers and is there anything else I need to do before torch firing?

    After firing I'm using a wire brush, then using the various grit polishing papers and tumbling for a few hours. Is there anything else I should be doing to get a shinier finish to the piece? The polishing papers don't seem to leave a great finish.

    I was thinking of getting a Dremel instead of having to hand polish and tumble - is this worth it? Would I be able to get a good finish with a Dremel and if so what sort of heads would I need to use? Would I still need to tumble after polishing with a Dremel?

    Sorry for all of the questions - I hope they make sense! With the cost of PMC I was hoping someone would be able to help me so that I'm not wasting it through trial and error, so would be very very grateful for any advice that anyone can give

    Hayley x

  • #2
    I did a Level 1 in PMC and in that the key seemed to be to work your way down the papers until you got to the very, very finest, only that way would you achieve a shiny gloss, it takes quite a while but it does get the polished finish. The real expert in this is Julia Ray, she is the most qualified teacher in the UK and you should be able to track down her website off the Metal Clay Academy Site.


    • #3
      Hi Trish, thank you very much for your reply! I will have a look at the Metal Clay Academy site then, I've not come across that before. The training that I had in PMC was by someone who had learnt off of someone else and I don't think it was that great! Many thanks again, Hayley


      • #4
        I have no experience with PMC but do have a book on PMC Jewellery. According to this to get a mirror finish you start with a fine brass wire-brush with which the piece is scrubbed using liquid soap and water (she says never to dry brush with a brass brush as this makes the surface look dirty and dull). Then use a burnisher or tumbler. In the individual projects the tumbler with stainless steel shot is used for about 20minutes and states not to tumble for more than 45 minutes as you might erode the textural surface. There is no reference to sanding at all.

        hope this might help.