Andy Cooperman wrote,
Exploring, discovering and exploiting the idiosyncrasies of the
material, ie its "clayiness" might open the door to innovation
This is an important point that Andy made. We are still at the 'dawn'
of PMC exploration; we are learning what can (and cannot) be done
using metal clay. Improvement in design and technique comes as a
result of experimentation and experience, in any medium.
Noel Yovovich wrote,
I can understand not liking much (most?) of what is done in
it. I even agree that most of the metal clay work out there is
clumsy and amateurish. (Though I think it could be said that
there's an awful lot of bad crap in virtually every medium. Nobody
condemns oil paint despite the unbelievably bad work that is
created using it!).
He's right...in any art form, from metalsmithing to ceramics, from
oil painting to sculpture, from poetry to music, 90% of everything
is crap. It's the possibility of creating the 10% that isn't crap
that keeps artists doing what they do...making 'stuff'. The garbage
can mutate into good art as the result of becoming proficient in our
techniques, observant in our design sense, responsible to our media,
centered in our hearts, and clear about what we want to say in our
art (whether simply to express the beautiful in our world, to
describe the ugly, to declare our politics, whatever we want/need to
say). We do what we do over and over again until it works!
Brian said, "Most important - to me at least - is that it can't be
Well....that's not true. I have engraved on fired PMC+. It takes a
different touch, but it is engravable. Now...I'm not a proficient
engraver, but I was able to engrave a very simple design on a ring
made from PMC+. I admit it publicly here. But, if I can engrave on
PMC, then a really accomplished engraver ought to be able to work
wonders. We are finding the limits of what PMC (and other metal
clays) can do, and not a day goes by that someone figures out how to
approach the use of metal clay in new and imaginative ways.
richard hart wrote,
A while ago there was a thread about how to label yourself as metal
artist, silversmith, goldsmith, ect. If you work in pmc, how do we
refer to what is done as opposed to those who use metal working
techniques to achieve their goal. Fabrication and casting are metal
working techniques in my opinion, working with pmc is more similar
to ceramics. PMC is not metalsmithing.
Who cares what one calls oneself...the work one does, the jewelry or
sculpture in metal, whatever, is what defines you.
Those of us who have spent years (20-30) learning how to work with
metal might be prejudice because pmc does not require the time and
discipline required to achieve results that fabrication or casting
requires. PMC has resulted in a sort of dumbing down of a medium
that at one time required perseverance and skill to overcome
I have spent 25+ years working as an artist making jewelry (I don't
know what to call myself, hope that works). I don't consider the
work I do with metal clay undisciplined or dummied down. And when I
teach I don't dummy down techniques and I know this is true for
other instructors teaching metal clay use. One teaches/uses any new
tool at a skill level appropriate for the student or oneself. As a
result of perseverance and skill overcoming the obstacles inherent
in any learning experience, each day brings progress to another
Richard again wrote, "I doubt if I will be PMCing"
There is no need for you to use metal clay, IF YOU DON'T FEEL THE
NEED. However, if you have not learned to use it, please don't feel
you have the necessary to make an informed pronouncement
about what metal clay can or cannot do. I'm surprised every time I
sit down at my bench, with metal clay and with fabrication
Come on folks, there's a good reason to keep an open mind,
especially for artists. It allows all kinds of exciting ideas,
concepts, imaginings, and fantasies in to shake up the synapses,
wake up one's subconscious and add to the skills and techniques one
can incorporate into one's work. Metal clay is just one more way to
add innovation. Let your imagination get you around the
mindblocks...the resentment, the prejudices.
"Fear is the darkroom where negatives develop"