Precious Metal Clay

In case anyone is interested…

I just found out that GIA is offering Precious Metal Clay classes in Tucson
at the “big shows” for $295. If interested call them at 1-800-421-7250, Ext.
292. The two-day classes are being offered a couple different time. I
enrolled for the Jan. 30-31 sessions (again, in case anyone is interested).



Thanks for the info on Precious Metal Clay. I am particularly concerned
about the mold factor. I live in a very humid area.

Does anyone else know about this?

I’ve seen a photo of a piece Tim McCreight made from PMC, so I thought it
added “credibility” to the medium.



There is definitely credibility in the material, but as Lee Marshall
commented, the exact market niche may have not yet been found.

I did not mention that one aspect that is interesting is that you can make
hollow forms (beads) using the PMC over material which will burn out, i.e.
balsa wood, paper mache.

My gut feel is that pottery/clay people will be happier with it.
Particularly since it can be put on a clay piece as accent, then fired.
This also restricts the shrinkage.

Go ahead and try it if you are interested. By the way, the company which
produces it brough together a whole group of “credible” metal artists to work
with this stuff for a week last year, that is why we are seeing some of this
in the promotional pictures now.

Good luck,


Hi Group,

I wanted to try the precious metal clay that I have seen
described. None of my gemstone suppliers have used it or sell it.
Does anyone know the following: 1) Where to buy it? 2) Approx.
cost for the silver type? 3) Temperature to fire the silver type?

Thanks for any help you can give.


A Woman in my jewelry class purchased two ounces from Rio Grand,
and I think she paid $30 an ounce.


You can order the precious metal clay through Rio Grande. The
phone Number is 1-800-443-6766 You can also reach them online at It seems to be very expensive but I
would love to get my hands on some. Let me know how it works!

The sole supplier in North America is Rio Grande (see web site

The material is $35.00 US an ounce (that is a metal ounce-theres
water and binder in it and you don’t pay for that). There are
price breaks at 25 and 50 ounces. At 50 ounces it is about $20.00
an ounce. You will want at least three ounces to learn how to use
it. I was lucky enough to be invited to the third ‘train the
teacher’ workshop in the material in Portland Oregon last month,
sponsored by Mitsubishi (the inventors of the material)(that
meansI, along with a number of others are now ‘qualified’ to
teach how to use it). Tim McCreight taught it and currently knows
the most about the material on anyone in North America. Note that
in Japan the material is about $150 an ounce-it is Tim’s doing
that it is relatively affordable here. It fires at 900 to 945oC
(oops-don’t know the farenheit, about 1600 I think). You fire for
two hours and that does it. It shrinks 50% upon firing which
takes a little getting used to but is fine once you’ve done it a
few times. I pressed some on a quarter, fired it and it was the
size of a dime-with every detail perfect (and backwards). Rio has
a little booklet written by Tim on how to use it and they just
came out with a how-to video by Tim that is pretty good. You have
to keep it moist because it dries really fast when exposed to
air. You can make slip with it. It is water (and a mysterious
organic binder that apparently is found in your kitchen) and
hence non-toxic as far as all testing goes-even during
burnout-although you can smell something burning. You can form it
over paper clay cores to create hollow structures, support it in
alumina powder (from ceramicists) while fring to prevent sagging,
fuse it to fine silver metal by firing it on, lock it onto
sterling and other metals the same way, set stones (that will
take the heat) by pressing them in deeply (2mm down) and then
firing it. It works like plasticine or clay, gets leather hard
and you can work with it then too. You can mix things in with
that burn out (like rice) or don’t (like enamel or clay bodies).
It will bond to clay bodies. Here fine silver and fine gold are
avaialble (at about 6 times market price for the metal), in Japan
platinum, sterling, 14k and 18k are available but you need a
hydrogen kiln to fire them-hence Tim’s advice to Mitsubsishi to
sell only the low tech fine materials in North America. Cool
stuff and kind of magic. We were trying to find applications and
concensus seems to be for model making (you get great detail,
like xeroxing a texture down 50%) for casting models, recording
and creating textures. Old people, beaders and teenagers might be
led into the field by working with it-after all if you can work
with clay or play dough, then fire it and it turns into metal
that is pretty neat. There are some potential production
applications, either working it like clay or fimo (and you might
want to practice in fimo before committing to the pricey stuff)
or pressing into molds and firing. The speed more than makes up
for the material cost in production terms (in North America-where
wages are higher than in certain other countries).

Hope this helps


Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

Metals info download web site: Product descriptions: Links list hosted at
the Metal Web News:

Hi Tom,
The exclusive US distributor of PMC is Rio Grande, in
Their Web site is

Dave Sebaste

Hey all!!


So far Rio Grande has the exclusive US rights to market on PMC
All the inf o you need is in thier catalog for both silver and
gold PMC.

If you do not have the catalog… here are some #'s for you

Silver firing temp 1650 F 900 C
Gold firing temp 1830 F 1000 C

Silver $34.21/oz
Gold $225.40/ 1/4oz

These are onesy prices.

You can Call Rio at 1.800.443.6766
or thier URL

Hope this helps!!!

Harry Butterfield
HP Trading Co.

  1. Where to buy it?
    Rio Grande have the US market cornered I believe.

  2. Approx cost for the silver type?
    ITS on sale til Mar.1 $20 /oz

  3. Temperature to fire the silver type?
    1600F degrees

Thanks for the great details on PMC, Charles.

I took a two-day class in it in Tucson and really like it. If
anyone is interested they can look up the URLs I posted on the
Digital Camera thread and see some of the work I’ve done in it.

I like it. It has all kinds of potential because it is new.
New techniques are waiting to be discovered! (I’m teaching a
workshop on it next month at a local art league so that should
tell you it is not difficult to learn!)

Candy Glaze

Candy- Could you post those URLs again, to look at your photos?
Thanks, Ruth

<< Candy- Could you post those URLs again, to look at your photos?
Thanks, Ruth >>

Hi, Ruth,

Here are the addresses of the PMC pics I put up for all to see.
Haven’t redesigned my webpage to include them yet. /candyce05/earrings.jpg

Hope you enjoy them!

Hello all. I am an experienced jeweler, but newer to Precious
Metal Clay (PMC). I also teach workshops in it. I would be
interested in hearing other’s experiences with PMC, esp. that might
be helpful to my students. I have read all the articles on the
subject in Lapidary Journal and Metalsmith. There is a forthcoming
book by McCreight and currently a video, which I haven’t seen. Has
anyone? Thanks.


Have you heard of Art Clay (available from Paragon Industries)?
I’ve only read a bit about it, but it sounds absolutely
fascinating! Apparently it comes in three forms: paste, clay and
syringe. It only shrinks 10% as opposed to the 40-60% of PMC.
I’ve wanted to play with this stuff myself, but I haven’t had the
money quite yet. I’ve especially wanted to try mixing it with
enamels (I’ve heard that gives an amazing effect). One day I shall,
I hope! If you have heard of this Art Clay, would you mind
awfully telling me of your own experiences with it? If you
haven’t, and you can’t find how to get a hold of Paragon
Industries, I have the contacts listed somewhere in my old e-mails.

I look forward to hearing more about this topic!

Tobey Ruth-Ellen Robinson
Adoremus Creations in Metal


I am really a novice at all phases of jewelry crafts but will
relate my experiences though minimal, with PMC. I watched the
video by Tim M. and as usual in videos nothing goes wrong and all
finished objects are nearly perfect.

I picked a nice flat cross to mold as my first attempt. I
followed instructions perfectly but ended up with a half
granulated, half melted blob. The kiln supposedly had an accurate
temperature guage but was informed that a variance of + / - 5
degrees would cause my problem. On attempt #2 (same flat cross)
the product came out intact but with nice splits where the arms of
the cross intersected. It was suggested that my clay had "dried "
out too much causing the splits. Having already invested $28 in
a $2 cross, I melted the PMC in a crucible and cast the cross!

I’m sure I was too blame for the problems but for a supposedly new
great substance, it doesn’t inspire me at all!

Hope your success is measurably greater!

Bob B

hi i bought some of the silver art clay, and have some of the
reading lit…it sounds wonderful, but i am going to have to return
it to swest, or exchange it for fine silver wire i use more, no
kiln to work with…and as tempting as it sounds, i need to focus
to on just the wire crochet and freeform stuff i have been doing.
mentioning to my sweet and very tolerant hubby a new phase of
silver has entered my life, well, he is a fed, he has enough
stress in his life!

it does look exciting…

PS> i crocheted an orchid!!! i have it on the website above!

Wow! What a drag! I had been forewarned that temperature was
very important, so watched the kiln very closely, constantly
adjusting, and had no problem.

One very nice kiln for PMC is the Quick Fire kiln by EvenHeat Co.
It’s sold by them and in the Lark Books catalog. It comes up to
temp. in 15 minutes!

-Elaine Luther
Studio 925
Chicago, IL USA

I wish you could have heard Myra Mimlitch Gray’s talk at SNAG on
PMC. She was invited to participate in the original discovery team
at Haystack with John Miller, Tim McCreight and others. She was so
disgusted with the material that one of her final pieces was a shoe
impression from stepping on it with disgust. It was a hilarious
talk. She said that every time she wiped her hands, she kept
thinking, “Oh, there goes another five dollars!”

Karen Christians
Fly Fish Design
282 Lexington St.
Woburn, MA 01801


Current Artwork:

Well, I had pretty good luck with my PMC. I rolled flat pieces
and pressed leaves from my spiria bush, baby leaves from my red bud
tree and leaves from the neighbors blackberry bushes. out of 1
ounce I got 8 pins. The pins from the spiria were really nice,
they had 6 to 7 leaves pressed in different directions then trimmed
to a rectangle. I baked in my dental kiln (6 " x 6" internal) with
a pyrometer. My only hint to share is: If you are soldering pin
backs or anything else onto this, you must burnish the area
otherwise the solder will soak into the piece. anyway, I antiqued
then used steel wool to buff. If I ever get motivated, I will get
the pieces I have left photoed and scanned into this web page…

Joy in Illinois where the lilacs are BEAUTIFUL