I’m happy to read of your interest in combining PMC with ceramics.
Some work has been done in this, both here in the States, and in
Holland (Andrea Wagner) and Britain (Gwen Bainbridge). I’m not aware
of any technical in print or on-line, but it’s good to
know that experimentation is going on in many places.
I’m happy to answer what questions I can, but let me be clear that
I’m not a ceramic artist. In most cases, all versions of PMC will
bond to ceramic without any intermediate layer. The exceptions seem
to be high temperature glazes that do not liquify or soften at high
temperatures. In these cases the PMC does not seem to adhere well.
As to which material to use, the primary advantage of PMC+ and PMC3
are that they can be fired at lower temperatures (as low as 1100F
(600C), and that they can be fired faster (2 hours for Original, as
little as 10 minutes for the others. Shrinkage on Original PMC is
28%, while the other versions shrink only about 12%. All versions
can be fired up to 1650F (900C). After firing, all versions are 100%
My experiments indicate that it is important to apply a layer of PMC
slip first. This appears to flow into microscopic irregularities in
the surface of the ceramic and improve adhesion. If a surface
coating is all you want, the slip is enough. If you are building a
three-dimensional element, this should be done with the solid
version of the clay, either by working in place, or by modeling the
ornament and setting it on a bed of slip the way a mason would seat
a brick on a layer of mortar.
The manufacturer of PMC sells a factory-made slip (also called
paste), and you can make your own. All PMC is water soluble. To make
paste, either forcibly blend water into the clay by smearing them
together on a plastic or glass surface, or, alternately, allow some
PMC to dry, sand it to create a powder, then mix this with water.
Except for the ease of buying ready-made, there is no difference
between these slips.
There are several helpful books on the market, all viewable in the
"In Print" section at http://www.PMCguild.com In addition, you’ll
find a wealth of on that site, including Technical Data
Sheets in the “Getting Started” tab.
And finally, as to where to buy PMC… again I direct you to the
website above. In the left margin you’ll see a vertical column of
links, including “International” and “Suppliers,” both of which will
be worth a look.
I would be happy to hear the results of your research!
Technical Consultant, PMC Guild