Anything fired for just a few minutes with a torch or a burner
will not come out anywhere near its maximum density and will be
brittle and fragile... These materials (PMC and Art Clay) are
pretty commonly described as being OK to fire at low temps, but the
reality is that they need 1650 for two hours, or something very
close to that...
To chip in again, low fire Art Clays and PMC3 don’t require such
long high temperature firing as the original PMC. PMC3 silver is the
strongest version of the clay, and can be fired, according to the
manufacturer, for 10 minutes at 1290 F (700 C) (although of course
longer in a kiln is better, but this is not essential). The
manufacturers and most suppliers say you can use either a torch,
hotpot or kiln - I have no experience with the hotpot, so can’t
The point, I think, is that using the gas burner (after finding the
hot spots and using them) for long enough, or using the butane torch,
is still a good way to get started - I find the tricky thing when
starting with PMC+ or PMC3, is simply handling the unfired clay and
learning how to cut, shape, texture etc.
Using a butane torch with PMC3 on a small pendant or simple ring
will give good enough (and wearable) results, enough to see if you
like the process of shaping the clay, etc. If you do, clearly you
wouldn’t use the torch or gas burner to produce work to sell - I was
talking about getting started, which I thought was the question.
Obviously a kiln will fire several pieces at once, can be
programmed, can fire for the highest or longest temperatures, etc,
and is required for larger, dimensional or hollow pieces, and this is
what you’d want to get if you got seriously into it. But just
starting, surely anything that will fire the clay successfully and
show you the results that are possible is a good thing?