Hi, Here is the answer to the question of mixing enamel & PMC from
the master of PMC himself, Tim McCreigh. I wrote him at the web
site pmclay.com with your question. It is a great source of info
for PMC questions and he even supplies directions to view a couple
of images using the method which he outlines below. I think this is
the kind of answer you were looking for? Karen
Hi Karen, Yes, I’ve tried the enamel/PMC mix a few times and think it
offers a wonderful opportunity for exploration. Though both
metalworking and enameling have centuries of history, the idea of
mixing the two (as opposed to fusing glass on top of metal) is an
example of just how radical PMC can be. Here’s what I know…
I knead dry enamel powder into PMC, generally heading for a mix in
the 50/50 range. If there is too little enamel the effect is too
subtle. The result feels like crumbly cookie dough. At this point,
fine manipulation of the PMC is not possible, so detailed work would
be difficult. Perhaps adding some water or waterbased glue would help
is this was needed.
I fire as usual, but understand that a reduced firing will create
a softer color, partly because at lower temperatures many enamels
only partially fuse, and partly because at full firing the PMC
structure is most compact, squeezing the glass to the surface.
I recommend setting work on a thin layer of alumina hydrate.
During firing the enamel will flow through the PMC, especially thin
pieces, and it can cause the piece to stick to the shelf on which the
You can see examples of two pieces that use this technique at the
PMC website. Go to the Gallery section, click on Archives, and under
the Show column, visit Spring 98 and Spring 99. You will see two
pieces by Barbara Simon.
I’m familiar with Orchid and perpetually intend to make more time in
my schedule to visit. Thanks for forwarding your questions… you’re
welcome to use the above however you see fit.