Arizona Indian Pendant

March 24, 2007

I have been wanting to experiment with Precious Metal Clay, ever since I found a post on Craftster about someone making a pendant that looked like silver, but I was not sure, and they described the process to me.
Seemed like magic, but it is very real, and makes sense!
There are lots of tiny pieces of silver mixed into an organic paste. By burning this paste, the organic material turns to smoke, and the silver particles fuse together, creating .999 fine silver metal!

Oooh burning something to turn to silver must such a high temperature to do that…not really, now the particles in the silver are so tiny, it can be done with a butane torch, which is exactly how I did it. The same torch used to make creme brullee.

This material can be found in lump form – can be rolled, cut, shaped, dried and carved, paste form can be painted on burning items, paper (haven’t figured out exactly what to do with it, origami is one option, weaving another, overlaying..), syringe…imagine the possibilities! Even some lab grown stones like CZ and other stones that resist high temperatures can be burned with it.

Enameling is the next thing I’d like to try, especially on this Indian pendant.

After the burning process, different finishes can be applied with a brass brush, burning, tumbling or filing.

For this pendant I have chose to brush it, the burnish the edges with a round steel burnisher and leave the lower zones almost white.
Patina or other oxidizers can darken the silver, and then lustering the high zones again, will accent the detailing even more.

This pendant has been oxidized by placing it in a plastic bowl with hard boiled egg yolk. I think it contains some sulfur in it so it works like the patina, but a lot slower. It can be left like this overnight for a deeper effect.

So here is the result of my first PMC experiment (lump form of PMC+ Quick fire), after months of reading and impatient waiting for it and the tools to arrive:

Arizona Indian Pendant, originally uploaded by fmirela.

The print was inspired by my trip to Yuma, Arizona.
It has been stamped with the hair accessory into the rolled clay, then a triangle has been cut around the design.


4 Responses to “Arizona Indian Pendant”

  1. Becky Says:

    I always wanted to try that too– it’s just such a bloody expensive hobby! But this is really cute, and I have to squeal about it being a kokopelli (my favorite Native American symbol since I’m a flute player.)

  2. Mirela Says:

    kokopelli, good to know, will need to read more about this.

    it’s expensive in the beginning, because of all the tools, but some can be found around the house, like the torch for crème brulee, nail files, playing cards, plastic cutter mat, brick for firing, steel burnisher, protection glasses, textures are all around and I capture them in FIMO clay for molds…Once you have all the tools the clay is not that much, comparing to fabric for example….I’ll make some of these for me and to give as presents for now, but can’t wait to get more clay…I feel like I’m learning so much and getting better at it I hope.
    You’ll enjoy this I’m sure!

  3. thecraftyweasel Says:

    How did you do the ring it hangs from, is that PMC as well?
    It’s beautiful!

  4. Mirela Says:

    Unfortunately I cannot take credit for the ring…it is sterling silver and I did not make it…

    So far I have managed to make a round bail and another one out of a snake for the blade pendant…

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