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PMC from mud

I have some PMC I bought at SNAG’96 and over the years it had gone
hard. I am trying to rehydrate it and I have had partial success.
After grating it in a fine parmesan grater and adding water I have
successfully produced an even consistency of what can only be called
mud. I have it in the original plastic container looking like a very
thick, almost sticky, sludge, and it’s slowly yielding its eccess
water on the underside of the lid. It’s not dripping wet: whenever I
mix it around and form a raised mound with it, it will stay heaped up
for a while, quite slowly returns to a level playing field of silver
mud. I put some paper tissue there in the lid to absorb this, and
replaced it every few days. A slow process! Can anyone help me with a
better idea for getting PMC mud back to a workable state?

B r i a n A d a m
Auckland N E W Z E A L A N D

Hi Brian, I work alot with PMC and often recycle my leftovers from
slip. My favorite method is to spread it on my working surface (your
flexable non-stick surface). Spread it as evenly as possible and heat
the slip up with your hair dryer. Use the heat in even passes over
the PMCslip. When you start to see a skin develop on the surface take
a small pallett knife and remix. When remixed spread across the
non-stick surface again, heat with the hair dryer and wait for the
skin to reappear and repeat the process until you have reached a good
working consistancy in the PMC. Good luck and have fun!!

My advice is to use the PMC mud as is and NOT try to get it back to a
workable lump.

The 2 best ways I can recommend for your expensive mud is:

  1. Use it to “paint” or coat a twig, or leaf. Coat thin layers of
    the pmc to the underneath ONLY of a well veined leaf. Let it dry
    between coats. When it has a build up of 5 or so thin layers. Fire
    it. It can then be used as an element or by itself. The twig coating
    is much the same, except that you may coat all round the surface.

  2. The second idea is to coat a hollow form. The directions that
    Barbara Simon offers on the Lapidary Journal website are quite good.

Nancy in Huntington Woods, Michigan

 Can anyone help me with a better idea for getting PMC mud back to a
workable state? 

Brian, I have used my vacuum system for dehydrating, crack the vent to
avoid splattering. Might be worth trying a small test.

Jeff Demand