Hi all, I'd just like to second what Merle said! I'm editor of Studio
PMC, the PMC Guild's newsletter, and I really, really want to see AND
feature the great work I know is being created in PMC! But I can't
unless people creating that work send it to me. (Hint, hint, Noel.
Now's a good time for us -- we just moved to four-color printing
throughout the publication, so the photos will look considerably
better going forward.
As others have observed, PMC is still a relatively new material, and
as with all new materials, some of the work being done isn't terribly
sophisticated. (For that matter, not all the work being done with
traditional metalsmithing techniques is that great -- would you
judge silver as a material based on beginner projects?) Tthe group of
artists working with PMC has been relatively small, and they've all
been beginners until very recently. As more artists work with this
material over a period of time, I'm seeing more and more really cool
work in PMC, and I think that trend will continue.
As for whether it's worth trying -- depends on how much you like to
play around with new mediums. PMC is a new tool in the tool box, and
it has some great qualities, which can allow artists to do things
that would be difficult or impossible using traditional techniques.
It's very accessible, and doesn't require a lot of equipment to get
started, so can be very appealing to artists who work primarily in
other mediums. But it's not going to make traditional metalsmithing
techniques obsolete. Of course, lost wax casting didn't make
fabrication techniques obsolete, either. It's just another technique
you can learn, or not, as you choose.
I will say, though, that there do seem to be plenty of people
learning it. The PMC Guild now has more than 2,000 members, and that
number is growing daily. Rio Grande sold more than a metric ton of
the stuff last year. It's not for everyone, but these folks seem to
think it's pretty cool.
Oh, and one last note -- the Japanese PMC books are available
through Rio Grande. A word of warning: they are in Japanese and
there are no plans to translate them, although I understand the
photos are striking and worth the price of the book. Still, if you're
looking for a how-to book to get started, there are several others
written in English (including ones from Tim McCreight and the PMC
Guild's director,CeCe Wire) that might make a better starting point
if you do not read Japanese.
P.O. Box 265, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255