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Working with Metal Clay - a Good tip (Bill)


From: Judy Decker (judydeckeriad_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Dec 17 2003 - 10:48:57 PST

Bill and all who are interested,

Lisa just sent me this, Bill. It is good advice and
will help on the waste issue, too:

From Lisa Skeen
If you do decide to go ahead with the PMC project, I
suggest that as practice, you get some porcelain or
white earthenware and have the students make maquettes
of the final piece. That way they can work out
"issues" before they use the expensive stuff.

Since I am sharing this - I'll post her other
suggestions to Bill (you already have these Bill):
> 1. It is as easy to use as the explanations on the
internet claim?

Yes and no. It's easy to use in terms of pliability,
but it will show EVERY MARK you make on it,
intentional or not. Once it's dry, they SAY you can
reconstitute it, but it's not the same as before and
very hard to work with.

> 2. Roughly how much material do I need to order for
a class of 28?

PMC comes in 18g packages I think, and you will have
to have at LEAST one per person, plus slip and

> a. Do I order the sheet, clay and slip to be
able to make a project?
> b. We have a lab fee of $5.00 for silver, will
this be enough?

Those 18g packages (which is a blob about the size of
a starlight mint, just a bit bigger) minimum of $21
each. You will also need a rock tumbler to clean the
pieces after firing.

> 3. How do you control waste for those students who
don't follow directions and don't seem to care about

Make them buy their own, and don't worry about that.
PMC can be reconstituted, SORT OF.....but it's never
the same and hard to work with.

> 4. Is firing this product as easy as the
explanations claim.

Yes, if you have a kiln that is made for PMC.
Otherwise you have to babysit the kiln and have a
pyrometer to tell you the temperature. You MUST have
good ventilation for this stuff - it REEKS nasty

> 5. Are there any special tools needed for this

Very small diameter PVC pipe is good as a rolling pin,
everything that PMC touches must be coated in oil to
keep it from sticking. I suggest strongly that you go
the the PMC website and pick a class to take before
you try this with students. I don't really recommend
this stuff for the classroom because of the expense.
Your surfaces and tools must be clean clean clean or
you will have yellow silver from contamination.

(Books were answered in my previous post)

Now these answers will come up in the Getty archives.


Judith Decker
Incredible Art Department
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