NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane's Creative Hands Newsletter for October 2004
Creative Hands __________________________________________________________________ Imagine this: You want to make beautiful precious metal jewelry
Ruby Lane's monthly newsletter celebrating the Arts & Crafts
Welcome to Creative Hands!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o Carol Augustine: Precious Metal Clay Artist
o Share Creative Hands With A Friend
but you have no training as a metalsmith. You have a few ceramic
and beading tools, great ideas and a wonderful collection of
found objects such as antique buttons, old dress clips and
seashells. One day you are browsing around a local bead store,
there is a class going on in the back room, you are curious. You
discover they are working with a new material, PMC ® (Precious
Metal Clay), a versatile, malleable clay-like material that
produces pure silver (or gold) when it is fired, and you need no
fancy tools, no formal training or a big investment of cash to
get started. You are instantly excited because you have found
PMC ® was developed and patented in 1993 by Mitsubishi
Materials of Japan. Thousands of tiny metal particles are
suspended within a water-based organic binder. During firing,
the binder and water burn off completely, leaving only the
precious metal behind. After firing, silver PMC will assay and
may be hallmarked as ".999 pure". Finished gold PMC will assay
as 24-karat gold.
The process of working with PMC is simple and requires only a
handful of tools and ordinary objects you find around the home.
To get started you will need a short section of PVC pipe for a
rolling pin, olive oil to keep the clay from sticking to your
fingers, a clay needle, a small water color brush, a razor knife
and various modeling tools you can purchase or make yourself.
With your small collection of tools and PMC you can create
jewelry pieces using a variety of simple techniques. Typically,
you will start by rolling out a small sheet of clay, add
texture, cut out the shapes, bend them into the desired form and
join them together if required. You can also make a mold from a
found object such as a seashell and a two-part silicone mold
making material. Press the clay into the mold, allow it to dry
and then remove. Once your piece is completed, allow it to dry.
Next, the piece must be heated (fired) to a point where the
metal particles fuse together. PMC can be heated using an
electric kiln, a torch or a 'hot pot'. (Most PMC instructors
and some bead shops offer firing services for a minimal charge.)
Generally, after firing, the PMC is burnished or sanded; a
patina is added to accent the design details and the piece is
polished with a rouge cloth.
Carol Augustine, artist, craftsperson and PMC Guild instructor,
got her start working with fine silver and gold just as
described above. She took her first class two years ago and has
been hooked ever since. Discovering PMC added a new dimension
to her jewelry designs. It afforded her the opportunity to work
with a material that not only brought her great satisfaction but
also changed how she viewed everyday objects. "Almost
everything you can see and touch has the potential to become
part of the design process. Things that had been ordinary became
extraordinary and the possibilities, endless."
Carol enjoys searching for natural materials such as tree bark
and seashells to create interesting textures and patterns. Her
collection of antique buttons and dress clips are a wonderful
source of inspiration for many of her designs. Carol is
currently learning the art of working with enamel and is excited
about the prospect of adding color to her PMC designs.
We invite you to visit Carol's shop, PMC Studio Art Jewelry.
Imagine this: You want to make beautiful precious metal jewelry
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