|2008 - GERRY WHITE - PMC Class|
Southern Flames was lucky to have our own Gerry White teach two PMC (Precious Metal Clay) classes specifically designed for glass beadmakers. Gerry has 25 years experience as a goldsmith, silversmith, jewelry designer, and beadmaker. Her store, Beads by Designs offers many many classes each month including ones on using PMC. The store also has a complete line of PMC supplies.
Gerry is also the South East Regional Director for the ISGB
The set up for
each student included a folder with tutorials, an introductory booklet
on PMC, kiln information and instructions for painting on glass with PMC.
Each student also received a package of PMC clay and Gerry provided all
the tools needed for the class.
The first step
in many PMC jewelry projects is rolling out the clay. Playing
cards are stacked on each side of the clay and then a roller is used to
thin the clay evenly to the desired thickness.
In this photo a
cylindrical bead is being formed by wrapping piece of rolled clay around
a straw. To build up the ends, Jerry cuts to very thin strips of
clay, paints them with clay slip and sticks them to the end of the clay
tube. In this picture one strip has been attached and the other
will be painted using the slip in the medicine vial and the brush.
PMC slip is made
by taking tiny leftover dried pieces of PMC and reconstituting them with
water to a creamy consistency. In this picture Gerry is preparing
slip for each student. You can also see the white plastic roller
that is used for rolling the clay between the playing cards. A wet
sponge (green) is used to wet larger pieces of leftover clay that will
be stored and reused.
Gerry showed us
how to make our own molds. Molds can be made from leaves, shells,
belt buckles or almost anything else that can be pressed into the
molding product. Once the mold is dry then PMC can be pressed into
the mold to pick up the surface design. Two types of molding
material are shown here - one makes a hard mold and the other a flexible
mold The white material comes in pellets and is heated into a mass
before the impression is made. It is reusable and can be
reheated to make another mold. The mold on the right is made by
mixing two materials together without any heat. The resulting
material remains flexible so that it is easy to peel the PMC clay out
after an impression is made.
The photo on the
right shows multiple molds made by Gerry. On the left hand side
are paper punches that can be used to cut all sorts of shapes from a PMC
product which is pre-rolled to paper thickness.
Lots more more
cutting tools. Most of these are used to cut basic shapes for
pendants, end caps, charms, bails and pins from rolled PMC.
Plastic sheets with different textures are used to make
patterns on the clay by rolling the clay over the sheet.
can also be used to make impressions on the clay.
After a PMC
piece is dried and baked, rough edges can be filed off using emory
boards or sandpaper. Afterwards the the piece is patinaed and
polished with hand tools or in a tumbler.
Gerry had lots
of books on PMC for us to look at as well as many for sale at the shop.
Beads By Design carries a full line of PMC supplies and classes if you
are interested in learning how to make your own silver pieces.