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PMC firing


Hello all:

I was looking at some PMC 3 in the local craft store today, and was
once again tempted to try out some.

Does anyone know what firing options are there for this form of PMC?
I don’t want to buy the special $$$ PMC kiln. Apart from the 2
workshops I’ve taken, I’m not sure whether I’ll be using it that

I know it can be torch fired, but I have reservations about that: I
can’t help wondering how you can be sure you’ve done it properly;
covered all areas, did it long enough, etc. Not to mention holding
my clunky torch that long…

At the store they were selling a little “kiln” that looked like a
two-part ceramic jar. Inside was a cup to be filled with a liquid
fuel and ignited; the PMC 3 piece would sit on a platform above the
flame, the whole thing having a lid to hold the heat in. Has anyone
tried this method? It was the first time I’d seen a liquid fuel
kiln. It was on sale for about $66.

Is there any reason why I can’t use my little "trinket"
enamelling/granulation kiln to fire PMC 3? It’s the kind that’s
also called a beehive kiln. Element embedded in ceramic, metal lid.
I hooked mine up to a dimmer switch so I could adjust the
temperature, but have no idea, in terms of degrees, what actual
temperature it actually is at any point. It hasn’t been neccesary
for enamelling or granulation to know.

Thanks much…


Lin, While I have not personally used my ‘beehive’ since I have
another full kiln, I have friends who have used the bee hive with
complete success. I think Rio would give you advice on how to use
it if you ask. Eve Welts, certified PMC instructor


Lin, I fire my PMC3 for 30 minutes at about 1200 F, but I know there
are other firing schedules as well. I think that “HotPot” (as I
understand that it’s called) is supposed to sell for about $30 rather
than the $60s. I use an enameling kiln that I got from AMACO in the
midwest for $130.00. I’ve been using it for about a year now.


At the store they were selling a little "kiln" that looked like a
two-part ceramic jar.  on sale for about $66. ...Is there any
reason why I can't use my little "trinket" kiln 

That price sounds too high for the Hot Pot kiln. Check Last time I saw one it was $30.00. Consider
these temporary, from what I’ve heard, they only last for 10
firings. It’s very smokey and you have to use it outside.

You may be able to use a trinket kiln, but I have one and put a
temperature testing pellet (1500) and it didn’t melt (I was testing
for PMC+).

Besides the Hot Pot the next cheapest kiln is the Beehive Kiln from
JEC Products, which Rio Grande sells or you may buy it from $150.00 with ceramic inserts, which are
required. Can fire all three types of PMC.

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Studio 925; established 1992


Lin-- You might want to check on the PMC Guild website for a lot of
( Also, check out the metal clay
groups on–there are several ones you can sign up for.

As to your specific question regarding the hot pot, that was
mentioned just the other day on the “metal clay” group on Yahoo. To
quickly summarize: The hot pot is not hot enough to include enamels
with your PMC. It is not good for PMC regular or PMC+ (or the Art
Clay equivalent)–just the PMC-3. You can add some synthetic
and sterling silver findings, but not glass due to
temperature sensitivities. The ceramic fiber hot pots were
considered to be more durable than the ceramic hot pots–ceramic hot
pots had a tendency to break more easily and crack.

I would think that if you could get some sort of temperature gauge
on your mini-kiln then it would be fine for PMC. Anything will do
as long as it holds the correct temperature for the right amount of

Have a blast with the stuff!


I have seen Beehive kilns for sale with PMC inserts for firing:

I am not sure what the insert consists of, but it might be nothing
more than a heat resistant tile to set the piece on.


I use pmc clay, and it fires very well with a torch. You have to
fire your piece in lower light so you can see the color of the clay
when it becomes red hot. Too hot and it melts so you must be able to
see the color to know if your temperature is correct. Start with a
small piece to experiment with. When you place the torch flame on the
clay you must keep the flame moving. It is very tiring because you
must do this for 10 minutes. Fortunately if you do not fire it for
long enough or at high enough of a temperature you can fire it again
with the torch. The beauty of working with pmc is you can add more
clay to the pieces you have already fired. I made a bracelet that I
fired at least 5 times. I even added a 8mm garnet to the design
without the stone exploding or changing color.

Good luck!
Cherie Lurker in the mist…lol