Archive for the 'Precious Metal Clay' Category

Paper PMC

September 27, 2007

I have worked with the paste, paint and syringe before and had no idea how to use the paper sheet form of PMC.

I have tried some origami first in paper, but was not so thrilled about the results. The paper form of PMC is more flexible than real paper; it is different to the touch.

Material inspires me as I work with it. That is when I start to have a clear picture in my mind about what shape it will take.

Quilling and weaving are my favorite ways in handling paper PMC.

PMC Paper Quill Pendant

PMC Paper Quill Earrings


Inspired Transformation

September 27, 2007

Knit Silver Wire, originally uploaded by fmirela.

The materials I work with are just as important as the design.
For me, as a hobby seamstress with love for fabrics, it is all about creating.
Starting from scratch to create materials requires more work but the final results are always worth it.
There are various techniques to creating unique handmade items. Use the traditional knit and crochet techniques to transform a simple line of yarn into your own fabric.
Then take this to the next level and knit with silver wire instead of yarn. You will need more patience and practice makes it perfect. Make time pass slowly from old to new and create your own timeless jewelry.
I knitted this bracelet and pendant by randomly stringing freshwater pearls on silver wire. I try to look outside the box for inspiration. I referred to the sewing world and found this organza ribbon as closure for the bracelet.

Small crochet motifs like the circles and flowers or granny squares make pretty patterns for silver wire earrings and pendants. Snake like wire weaves are a good base for bracelets and collars.
Crochet Silver Wire

It is all about transforming your prime material into whatever you envision. I love to transform fabric into clothes, silver into jewelry.

PMC Pendant Blade

April 4, 2007

PMC Pendant Blade

I made this Blade pendant out of a PMC+ lump as a present for a dear friend of mine, aka the Blade.

Happy Birthday!

I wanted to experiment again with a different type of bail, a hidden one this time.
First I have rolled out a snake out of the PMC lump, made it narrow on one end and a little larger at the other. The larger end will support my bail. I have pressed down the lateral edges of the blade with my fingers, creating a third edge in the center of the blade. This process took a while, to get the edge lines as straight as possible. Because PMC dries out quickly and you need to work fast with it, I added a little water every once in a while with my index finger to the surface of the PMC to prevent it from drying and cracking. This also helped smoothing the surfaces.
I left the blade to dry before attaching the bail.
I have made the bail this time out of a thin snake of PMC+ about 2 or 3 mm wide), turned it around a wooden tooth pick (treated with olive oil first to prevent sticking). The ends of the snake that overlapped have been pressed together downward. This needs to be made a little larger to fit a chain or leather thread through, take into consideration the shrinkage of PMC+ during firing. To glue together the bail and the pendant, I added just a little water with a paint brush to the larger end of the blade, to make it stickier. While still moist, I placed the bail onto the larger end of the blade, and over just a little PMC+ paste. The paste also acts as a glue. I used the blender tool to make the seams disappear and let everything dry again.
First the pendant looked kinda boring and needed something else to make it a little more interesting. A small round ball of silver like a tear drop on one side gave the piece asymmetry.
The ball was created by melting about 1mm of .950 silver wire. Silver naturally turns itself into a ball when it melts.
To place the ball onto the blade I added just a tinny spot of paste and placed the ball over it. I used the blender tool to smooth the surface around the little ball some more. I have made a small hole just above the ball. Dried everything and then fired it.

Here it is before the firing:

PMC Pendant Blade, originally uploaded by fmirela.

After firing, one surface of the blade has been brought to a high shine, while the other has been left with a smooth satin finish.

It has been fun making this, I hope my friend enjoys it as much as I have enjoyed making it…

PMC Pendant

April 4, 2007

PMC Pendant, originally uploaded by fmirela.

With this Precious Metal Clay pendant I have learned to make the bail, instead of drilling a hole for a loop.
First I created a mold into FIMO polymer clay, from a button I loved so much on my faux suede jacket. Then I baked the mold and molded the lump form of PMC+, a bump a little larger then a pea. After drying the pendant I sanded the edges and burned it with the torch.
The oxidized look was achieved by placing it into a plastic bowl with boiled egg yolks 🙂 Then all the high surfaces have been brought to a mirror finish.

Here’s a back view with a little texture:
PMC Pendant

I have made this next pendant out of PMC in the same button mold, but this time I have placed a round loop made out of .950 silver wire and burned them together. This is a present for my mother in law, since the design represents her zodiac sign, the Lion!

In this picture you can see the white PMC look before the burning process.
PMC Pendant

The back view with a similar texture then before, just a little larger:
PMC Pendant

The finished product:
PMC Pendant

I am still thinking of creating a bracelet out of multiple molded circles linked together with silver loop rings.

From Inspiration to Earrings

March 25, 2007

From Inspiration to Earrings, originally uploaded by fmirela.

These pendulum shell earrings are one of a kind and have been inspired by Sanibel Island sea shells, Florida.
Looking for shapes and design everywhere makes me want to transform the whole world into silver.
It’s what I did with the shell in this picture. The tip of the shell has been pressed into the FIMO clay, to create the circles in the triangle. Very geometric, yet organic looking design. The clay has been baked in the oven for 25 minutes at 275 degrees F.
The PMC+ lump has been pressed into the mold, torch fired and brass brushed for a soft finish. The process has been repeated for the second earring.
They hang from sterling silver ear wires, and move like pendulums when you move, creating the impression of being larger then they really are.

So, no the world would not be still casted in silver, there’s lots of movement to this dangling earrings.

Painted Maple Leaf Pendant and Earrings

March 25, 2007

Painted Maple Leaf Pendant and Earrings, originally uploaded by fmirela.

Next experiment is the slip, the paste form of PMC.
For this I was looking around in the back yard, for the perfect leaf. As I read, the leaf that is suited for painting on is one that has an interesting skeleton design and it is not waxy.
It is pretty hard to find such I leaf in Florida, most of them have wax on, to protect them from the sun.

As I was looking around in the grass, a neighbor called my name, and when I looked up, I saw it! I found my perfect leaf for the pendant I had in mind, and even more! The little maple tree in the backyard was sprouting new branches, so it had little little brand new baby leaves! Perfect for the pendant and for the earrings. So thanks to Alin and the tree I had something to paint on. The little earring leaves had been taken from sister branches, so they are not quite identical but as unique as nature made them.

A trick I had tried and worked is to place the leaves onto scotch tape, to prevent them from rolling. This kept them nice and flat.
Countless repeated layers of thin paste PMC+ have been painted on the leaves. About 10-12 layers is recommended, and the pieces need to be at least 1mm thick for strength. After each layer dries, apply another.

A little hole has been manually drilled into the PMC pieces, and a sterling silver loop of 4mm is now passing though.

The cord is satin, the cord ends are sterling silver as are the frosted beads and ear wires.

These reminds me of autumn but I think they can be worn everyday with a casual outfit. I can even see a guy wearing the pendant.

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.