Jewelry, PMC, and getting my hands dirty

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Last month, I started taking a jewelry and metals class at a local art center. It’s so much fun! I’ve worked in metals before and wanted to get back into it.  I decided to take a class to explore my own creativity and “get my hands dirty.”  My teacher has been creating jewelry and small metal sculptures for over 30 years. The class is an open studio where we work on our own ideas and, with our teachers assistance, make our creations come to life.
The leaf above, was make with a product called PMC, orprecious metal clay. It looks like a little blob of sily putty, but once it is fired in a jewerly kiln, it is 99.9% pure silver. The clay comes in various forms; clay, slip, and paper. The slip is used like ceramic clay slip and the “paper” is a very thin sheet of the PMC. Used by themselves or together, you can create a vast array of works.
When I made the leaf, I used a PMC slip (which is similar in consistency to regular ceramic slip) and painted about 10 layers of it onto a real leaf. Just like in ceramics, when the leaf is fired in the kiln, the real leaf burns away and you are left with just the silver. After the first firing, I added a bail to the back and re-fired it all again to connect the 2 pieces. Once it was cleaned and polished, I decided that I wanted to darken the veins a bit to add some depth.
Watch for postings on more metal creations…coming soon!
What are you doing to stay creative and “get your hands dirty?”

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