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Keeping PMC Moist


#1

Hi Candy,

If you lose a batch to the air, the best thing to do is chop it up
and use it as slip… it’ll never be as pliable as it was when it was
fresh. But, to keep it moist while working with it or to keep an
unused portion moist, I always keep a small spray bottle of water
within reach. And a tip I got out of a book given to me by a friend
(Metal Clay Magic, by Nana V. Mizushima), and which I took to heart
and tried:

“A trick I learned from Mary Ellin D’Agostino of the PMC Guild is to
mix two parts glycerin with one part distilled water. Put this
solution is a dropper bottle, then you can add a drop or two to the
metal clay when needed.”

Depending on which PMC you purchased to “play with”, you’ll find
differing speeds of drying… PMC+ and PMC 3 have less water and dry
out much quicker. I always used PMC Original (now called Standard)
when I began - even though it shrinks 25-30%, you have much more
leeway to play. It allowed me to develop a comfort level before
diving into the Plus and 3 versions.

You can find a suitably sized dropper bottle at most natural food
stores (I’m also into aromatherapy and so had several of them on
hand). And the glycerin I use is a vegetable glycerin (also a natural
food store find)… I always had it on hand as a sweetener in certain
recipes, but it works quite well in the formula above. And it all
just burns off in the kiln.

I also have an arsenal of plastic film canisters and little ziplock
baggies into which I place unused portions… whenever you’re playing
with PMC, you want to cut off just the amount you need and
immediately store the balance (and any you cut off or remove from the
design you’re working on). I’ve been known to put baggies into
canisters into lidded tins… but that’s just my anal-retentive, Virgo
sensibility.

Be bold… and fear not,

Karan