Silver clay?

hi all! I have a question about the metal clay. The work made by
silver or gold clay can call silver or gold? is it can marked
silver ?

The metal in Precious Metal Clay is pure gold or silver. The
only other substance with it is a binder to make it pliable. Once
fired the binder burns out leaving pure silver or gold. You can
certainly label each with a fine silver or 24K gold stamp.

Hi,My name is Sandahbeth. I have been playing with the silver
clay. When it is baked what you have left is fine silver. I have
not played with the gold clay but I beleive that it is at least
22k when it is baked. Check with Swest about that or with Rio
Grand they both are 800# catalog houses that carry the metal
clays. I think that Sweast is a little cheaper.


Previous discussions on Orchid revealed that those who had used
both felt Precious Metal Clay (from Rio) was superior to Silver
Clay (from Swest). I have only used PMC.


Hello, That “precious metal clay” sounds wonderful. How is this
clay baked? Do you need to have a “kiln” to bake it? Or is an
Oven sufficient enough to do the job? thank you for any info that
you can provide. I would be interested in trying it out if the
oven will do the job of firing/baking.
Kim mailto:@kdesigns

I don’t know how the clay is baked, but I have heard many say
that it shrinks a lot! About 50% and many have said that it is
very difficult to solder. (Just a thought . . .)

– I have not found it wonderful. The clay people seem to do
better with it than the metal people. I am currently in a PMC
workshop at the 92st Y in NYC. I did not create anything
worthwhile last Sunday, and I have another session this Sunday.
I wanted to set stones in the clay before firing. I was not very
successful, but I will try again. It is expensive - $30 an
ounce. It is fired at 1600 degrees F. for two hours, in a kiln.


You will need a kiln to bake the clay. I believe it bakes around
1500. Tim McCreight has a video out on how to work w/the clay.
The video includes kiln temperature settings and length of time
for baking. Also, Rio Grande sends a brochure (and has a
newsletter) which comes with the clay to let the new user know
how to use the clay.

I wouldn’t put it in a regular oven as some of the ingredients
might not be healthy in an area used for food. Check with the
companies to see if they have a list of chemicals included in the

Tim McCreight knows about this stuff and there was an article by
him, I think , about using it. Maybe it was in Jeweler’s Circular
? You might want to look in their archives. I just tried to go there and their
server was offline or something. j

I wouldn’t say Precious Metal Clay is difficult to solder,
just different. As with all metals, we learn their
characteristics and how to best exploit those. With PMC, you
burnish the area to be soldered first, use extra solder, and try
to be quick. The material is porous, so it soaks us the solder,
that’s all. And the shrinkage can even be an advantage. For
some, it can be easier to work large and then have it become
more delicate. The shrinkage looses the water/binder – that’s
all. You still have your metal content. You just have to make
it bigger to start with. A recent issue of Studio PMC (the blue
one) had a PMC ruler to help you make your pieces the right


Please do search the archives for more on PMC, as we covered
this rather extensively just a few months ago.

Also visit to see Studio PMC, the newsletter on PMC.
I think you can sign up for a paper copy of the newsletter there
as well. You can even see my recent article if it is still up.
The site also lists workshops.

No, you can’t fire the PMC in an oven. You need access to a
kiln that can reach and consistantly maintain 1560 F for 2
hours. The cheapest one is the Paragon Rapid Fire, available
from Lark Books for $285. plus $55. for the control box. The
kiln that is probably a better choice is the new one from Rio
Grande ( for $485.00 complete that was designed
specifically for PMC.

It is simple to fire if you have the kiln and follow the
instructions in the free booklet that comes with each order of
PMC to a T.

Perhaps there is an art center near you with a workshop in it,
or that would allow you to use the kiln. You would have to
evaluate the kiln, though, to make sure it would do.

Good luck,


    You will need a kiln to bake the clay. I believe it bakes
around 1500. Tim McCreight has a video out on how to work w/the

The newsletter is great and FREE check out Our snail mail Studio PMC P O Box 257
Bennington, VT 05201. PMC workshops are out there and well worth
the time. The results are a bit on the crude side. If your
used to making refined jewelry this is not your medium. However,
they can provide you with some very interesting components for
your fabricated pieces. It does require a very accurate kiln
small margin for error. Too hot, meltdown, too cool, crumbly.
Once you get the hang of it it does offer a whole new area of
possibilities. I highly recommend the Rio video, Tim gives a
thorough presentation. Hope this helps. Dess

I completed my PMC workshop. One thing that I made was a small
rose, made by pressing the clay onto a mold. I tried to solder
it onto a sterling shank today and it drank up the solder in a
way that I never could have imagined. I melted some silver onto
the back of the rose and was able to get some solder to adhere in
this way — however, I had now used so much heat that I deformed
the rose — just thought that I would let you know.


Marion, Soldering PMC can be a problem, since the metal fresh
out of the oven is very porous. The solution is to burnish well
the area you are going to solder. That ‘closes the pores’ so to
speak. I often tumbler the peice before soldering. Hope this
helps. Dess

Marion, I have a new friend, Carolyn who moved here from Houston
and she has done some nice earrings in PMC. The way she handled
this problem was to punch out some thin fine silver circles and
press them onto the backs of the clay before it was fired. They
were adhered to the finished silver-clay and she then soldered
the earring posts to the silver circle. Looked great to me! Louise

Ever try to solder anything on to a PMC piece? A finding, for
instance? It absorbs the solder like a sponge and the finding
still won’t adhere. I saw someone finally fuse a bit of scrap
silver to the piece and then solder the finding successfully
to the patch. Anybody else run into this problem? My
experience with Precious Metal Clay has, so far, been more than
a little disappointing : It’s expensive, not particularly
versatile, requires a kiln with a pyrometer that works, is
resistant to soldering, shrinks to about half its original size
after heating, is extremely dense…the only good thing I
found was that it takes textures very well. Frankly, I think
PMC has been over-hyped. It has a ways to go before it will
compete with lost wax cast pieces. The product needs further
improvement, i m h o.

– Sounds good, but my main reason for using PMC was to make
three dimensional forms, or pieces with stones set in before
firing, so putting silver on the back would not work.

 PMC has been over-hyped.  It has a ways to go before it will
compete with lost wax cast pieces.  The product needs further
improvement,  i m h o.          >D< 

I haven’t worked in either PMC or lost wax but I crave the
textures you can get from either technique. Can someone do a cost
analysis? A kiln is approx $500-$700 (I think), what do you need
to do lost wax? I hear talk of rubber molds and a machine to
’cure’ them, a machine to tamp the air out of the material that
goes around the mold, ovens for heating the silver (large amounts
anyway) and vacuum equipment. How much of this is needed to pour
one wax piece to get the texture that is not sand or cuttlefish?


Kathi…if you are making only a few pieces in wax, it pays
you to take them to a professional caster instead of investing
in expensive equipment . If you like the results, you could
also have a mold made professionally so you can repeat your
creation. Of course, if you want to learn casting, that’s a
whole nother skill. Or you could try a workshop in lost wax
casting to see if you’d like to pursue it further.