Sunday, December 18, 2011


Metal Clay Artists Magazine is proud to announce that starting in the new year, the digital subscriptions and back issues will migrate to the Zinio (January 2012) and Nook Newsstand (February 2012) platforms. Being offered through these two platforms will greatly enhance the magazine's offerings and provide a better way to explore and enjoy the magazine. Customers will be able to view the magazine on their iPad, Mac, PC, Android (V2.2 and higher), Nook and Kindle Fire.

Stay tuned for additional details in the new year !

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

25 grams of PMC Sterling

I was very happy to have the opportunity to play with the new PMC Sterling back in November. Finally we can have a metal clay that it is stronger and can me mark as .925 silver (sterling).

I got a package of 25 grams and I got into my studio to make some pieces with it. The working time for this type of clay is longer and it gives you the flexibility to not worry about the clay drying too fast while you are working with it. The color of the clay is darker and the texture is great and easy to work with.

My plan was to make a ring, earrings and a pendant. The first piece I made was the ring, I hand roll a long snake and wrap it around a mandrel to form the band. The joining of the joints was easy to make and I just added some water to smooth the connections.
I decided to go 3.5 sizes bigger than the size I need it for the ring. I do not use any inserts in my ring when I fired it, I believe it is better to let the clay shrink all the way.

Carving is another thing I wanted to try with this clay since most of my work has carving in it. I was surprise to see how smooth and easy carving was with this type of clay. The carving went perfect and I saved my carving scraps to add some texture in my pendant later on. 

Since the clay has a longer working time before it gets dry, I knew hand sculpting will be easy and great to do. I hand sculpted a rose to add to my ring and it was perfect for sculpting.
I let the rose dry first before I added it to the center of the band, this way you will not deform the rose. Adding the rose was easy by using water and fresh clay to join the rose to the band. I do not like to use paste for this, I prefer to use fresh clay instead of paste. I continue to hand formed little rose buds around the center rose and some leaves.

For the earrings I wanted to use sterling jump rings and fire them in place. I embedded them in the earrings with fresh clay and hand formed flowers and leaves. In the center of the flowers I attached a CZ Garnet. 

For the pendant I play with textures and added my carving scraps on top of the heart with water. I carved and hand formed roses for the front and back of the piece. I always like to add something extra on the back of my pieces.

My firing schedule was different from the package because my pieces were thicker than 3mm. For the open shelf firing I fast ramp to 1000F and hold there for 40 minutes. I let the pieces cool down completely inside the kiln before I took them out to do the second firing.
For the second firing I added a coat of activated carbon at the bottom of the steel pot and added my pieces in one layer. I covered them with more activated carbon and closed the pot with the lid. I fast ramp the kiln to 1500F and hold there for 45 minutes. I also let the pieces cool down inside the kiln when the firing was over.

This is how the pieces look like when they are fired and out of the kiln. A white matte color and they do not have any oxidation or black coloring in them, not even in the sterling jump ring.

I brush them with a brass brush and soapy water, added LOS Gel patina and finally I polished them in a magnetic tumbler.

©2011 Lorena Angulo
PMC Sterling
Photo: Speedy Peacock
©2011 Lorena Angulo
PMC Sterling, CZ Hessonite Garnet, Pearls
Photo: Speedy Peacock
©2011 Lorena Angulo
PMC Sterling
Photo: Speedy Peacock

I want to continue experimenting and I am going to fire the clay to a longer time, maybe close to 2 hours. I will let you know how this goes and if the size of the ring shrinks more if I add more time to the firing.

I am sure you will all like to work with this clay and the best of all is that the price is very similar to PMC3.

Keep Playing, Keep Creating !!

Lorena Angulo
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