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PMC vs Art clay

I have been looking into the different metal clays. Some pepole
prefer one over the other. What would you recommend and why? Art Clay
brand or PMC3+?? Thanks for your help.


I have been looking into the different metal clays. Some pepole
prefer one over the other. What would you recommend and why? Art
Clay brand or PMC3+?

The two brands are very similar. It is like Coke and Pepsi–some
people prefer one over the other. Many people will use either brand.
The only way for you to answer this for yourself is to purchase a
small package of each brand and try them out.

There are multiple products offered by each company, so a good
comparison would start with using the comparable products. For
example PMC3 and ACS650 are the “equivalent” products; as are PMC+
and ACS Standard. Each product has slightly different working
properties. Most people who express a preference tend to prefer the
brand they started out using or the brand their teacher prefers.
After firing, it is impossible to tell which brand was used.

Combine the results of you testing with a price comparison and you
will find your answer. When comparing prices, be sure to compare the
net silver content rather than the clay weight for the most accurate
price You can also compare the weight of the clay
(silver + binder + water), but this will be a little less accurate
as the percentages of binder and water are a little different in the
various formulations. Be extra careful to not compare clay weight in
one brand to net silver weight in the other brand. The PMC brand
lists both net and clay weights on their packaging, while the ACS
brand tends to list the clay weight with the silver percentage in
parentheses next to it.

If you have a strong working preference, go with that, if not go for
price. The two brands are fully compatible, so you don’t have to
limit yourself to one brand unless you choose to do so. [Note: the
one exception to this is ACS Oil Paste, which is used to repair or
attach already fired pieces].

I have worked extensively with both brands and like both. I currently
work with and teach using the PMC brand for business reasons.

Mary Ellin D’Agostino, PhD
Sr. Teacher, PMC Connection
Certified Artisan, PMC Guild

This is definitely a personal choice. Of course, every metal clay
artist has their preference and why, but my advice is to try them
both and see which fits your needs. After firing, both are 99.9%
fine silver.

Jackie Truty
Art Clay World, USA, Inc.

Aloha! Nicole,

Their both good It all depends on you PMC is more expensive than Art
CLay, and one has less shrinkage than the other.


It also depends on what your trying to achieve. For example, if I’m
making a ring I want to use PMC3 (and sometimes with a sterling ring
blank underneath) but if I’m repairing something I like to use the
Art Clay Oil paste. Both have advantages and disandvantages.
Personally, I think Art Clay comes out of the kiln and wire brushed I
find it has a higher shine. I like that I can achieve the high shine
if I want with PMC but its a choice.

Linda Reboh

Personally, I have tried both - agree - it’s ones preference. An
interesting thing happened a couple of weeks ago. Being a PMC/Rio
Certified, I get lots of inquiries about classes, etc. This
particular one was different in that the lady wanted to color hers
with Liver of Sulfur. OK - I was game, she had a bunch. I had the
method that CeCe Wire uses - hot water, dissolve small pea sized LOS,
dip while counting, rinse in clear water, etc. We heated water, made
new solutions again and again, changed rinse water most often. (The
bucket nearly runneth over!) These items had been fired elsewhere,
but this gal knew which was the PMC 3 and the Art Clay (which # I
don’t remember). The same method of coloring was used for both and
WOW, the Art Clay took the color immediately.

We did get gorgeous golds, bronzes, burgundy, peacock blue, slate
gray up to the nearly black. The Art Clay was a little too quick to
get the lighter colors but did get the darker ones. The illustration
in CeCe’s book shows what wonderful colors can be obtained in
sequence. She has a great group to put on the market. I haven’t
contacted her to see how the colors are holding up.

Rose Marie Christison

The main difference in the two product are the manufacturers and the
binders in the clay. I use whatever happens to be handy (and am
certified in both clays) and many of us will use whatever is
convenient. When I have a choice, I use Art Clay. No particular
reason, I just slightly prefer it over PMC. If you talked with 10 of
us who use the medium, you’d probably find us split down the middle
on preference.

BBR - Sandi Graves
Stormcloud Trading Co (Beadstorm)
Saint Paul, Minnesota

It also depends on what your trying to achieve. 

And as far as I know only one of the brands comes in the form of
high-shrinkage clay (28%), which can be a great advantage in certain
cases. It is a very forgiving material, doesn’t dry out as fast, not
as brittle when dry and even slightly flexible. The high shrinkage
also shows textures better after firing and makes it easier to work
on fine details. I don’t use this kind of clay when strength and
surface tension are required.

Hadar Jacobson