Starting PMC

I am interested in getting into to PMC. Can anyone recommend a group
or book ?

Thank you
Tangible Dreams Jewelry

Tim McCreight’s books on PMC are very good for beginners. He also
has a cd in case you learn best by watching a demo. there are many
many groups- i’m not a fan of groups per se, but the PMC guild is the
most actively involved in elevating the material and process. Beware
the pyramid marketing scheme that comes with paying to be certified
in various" levels" of “expertise” in PMC…There is also Art Clay
,essentially the same thing,superior in some ways and with a wide
variety of types ( slow drying is great for beginners) but not as
many forms as pmc yet. Art clay world has a lot of info on their site
too. the shrinkage rates differ from type to type and brand to brand,
and firing charts can be found for both brands on any number of

It is not a cheap proposition.and to really get involved you’ll wind
up investing a minimum of a few hundred dollars on material and
supplies-before committing to a kiln if you don’t have access to one
at a community resource, or local studio that fires things for
people on a per piece basis.

Just buy some ( more than a seven gram pkg.,i would recommend PMC3 or
art clay slow dry for beginning.The syringe type is the hardest to
master/get to stay where you want it- so you may want to rule that
form out to begin experimenting with metal clays), get a cup of
water or two, a paintbrush -fine natural bristles, a decent nail
board with at least three functions- filing,ridge removal, and final
finish Sally beauty supply sells them at half the cost of most pmc
suppliers ( they are excellent for sanding and finishing your
workpieces) a plastic jar with non-metal lid to put your scraps in (
that will become slip when adding some drops of the water from your
cup to it ), a roll of parchment or silicone paper to work on barring
a sheet of plexi-glass you may already have, a strip of metal
flashing to cut it with ( or any thin metal blade as is used for
cutting polymer clays-just avoid aluminum at all costs,fine silver
clays react negatively with aluminum), and lightly oil or use a balm
like cloverine salve,bag balm,rosebud salve, etc to lube your hands
thus preventing the clay from sticking as readily as it would like,
and a torch ( harbor freight tools-9.95) or use a gas stove’s burner.
and dive in - after looking at Gordon Uyehara’s site on the web for
inspiration, (or lapidary journal/jewelry arts magazine, Celie Fago’s
site, Tm McCreight’s site, or Sherri Haab’s - all teach metal clay
but Gordon Uyehara is among the best examples of the art )

You can find firing directions and a pmc shrinkage ruler template on
any number of sites ( art clay world, pmc guild, or search the site, pmc
connection,etc.). That is going to differ from product to product
and type to type as far as time required and method- although all of
the brands and types can be fired/sintered on a glazed tile with a
hand held butane torch with good results.

I’d suggest you:

Read up at

Join the yahoo group Metal Clay Gallery

Read Margaret Shindel’s Squido Lens at:

And check the resources section, book and blog at my website:

The blog includes book reviews, though right now only photography

That’ll get you started.

And if you can, take a class, even if it’s just a 3 hour or one day.


There are piles of books that show what to do with PMC. It is the
most forgiving material I have ever worked with, and the easiest. My
first bookwas Art Clay Silver and Gold by Jackie Truty. But I usually
find myself on the page as they have all the
free online to using the PMC.

Happy times. Leslie

Hi Tina,

Check out the PMC Guild website. Also there is a metal clay group on
Yahoo! Both are great sources for inspiration and
feedback. I’d also recommend taking a beginner’s workshop. My two
favorite books with info and projects to try Working with Precious
Metal Clay by Tim Mc Creight Creative Metal Clay Jewelry by CeCe Wire

Best of luck to you
Donna Lewis

There are several good books out there that could get you started. I
would recommend the first book by Sherri Haab as a very good one. As
for groups, we have a very large metal clay community (metal clay
encompasses both of the brands that are currently used - Precious
Metal Clay and Art Clay Silver) on Just do a search
for metalclay (as a single word) and join more than 5000 of us on
that forum.

BBR - Sandi Graves, Beadin’ Up A Storm
Stormcloud Trading Co
“Beads, Leather and Metalworking Supplies”
St Paul, Minnesota (USA)

Just buy some (more than a seven gram pkg.,i would recommend PMC3
or art clay slow dry for beginning. 

Everybody has a personal preference as to clays. I suggest PMC+ for a
beginner. I have seen that beginning students prefer PMC+ over PMC3.

PMC3 is a bit sticky to work with, as it has the least amount of
binder. The reason to use it is if you want to fire it at a low temp
in order to fire stones in place, or if you want to fire it in a “Hot
Pot.” If you’re not doing either of those things, IMHO, you are
wasting the advantage of PMC3.

Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


I started working with PMC last summer. The book I liked best is
Creative Metal Clay Jewelry by CeCe Wire. A great website with cool
innovative tools is

The lady who owns this business is really nice. You can call her with
questions before you buy.

Augest Derenthal
Cry Baby Designs

Thanks, I look at that website for the free online info. I took the
plunge yesterday…bought my first pack at my local bead studio
(the owner was at the bead show) they gave me some good advise; sold
me a minimal set of tools–because you really don’t need that
many—I’ll either sink or swim! They have a kiln and will fire for
a minimal fee because they didn’t recommend the handheld little
torch (I bought the PMC+). Which did you use?


Hi Tina

Even though it is outdated, I would still recommend Tim McCreight’s
original book on using PMC. CeCe Wire’s book is also a good choice
on using Metal Clays. Jeanette Landenwich will be coming out with a
new book on setting stones in metal clay and CeCe will be coming out
with a book on innovative techniques using metal clays (Lark
Publishing, I believe). Tim has a new book available: PMC Technique
which should be a handy one to use (haven’t seen it yet, but his
books generally are eminently useful). You can ‘google’ these authors
to find their publications.

There are many excellent PMC and other metal clay instructors out
there and there are classes all over the USA and in Great Britain,
France, Australia, Japan and, I think New Zealand, too now, if not
many other countries as well. Instructors, classes, dates, locations
are listed on the PMC Guild website so check it out. Best to make
certain that a specific instructor is ‘certified’ through at least
one of the certification programs as that will guarantee a certain
level of experience with the material. It doesn’t guarantee an
ability to teach, however. Anyway, the classes listed generally
describe the skill level required for taking the class.

There are conference scheduled focusing on metal clays. There’s one
happening this summer in Las Vegas, with lots of workshops and
presentations. The PMC Guild conference is scheduled for next year
in West Lafayette, IN at Purdue University. The Guild conferences
have always been rich with and networking and include Rio
Grande Education in Motion workshops pre-conference.

Take out subscriptions to: Jewelry Artist/Lapidary Journal and Art
Jewelry Magazine. Both these periodicals offer step-by-step project
instructions for using metal clays, usually very clearly written. If
you see work/projects in these magazines, ‘google’ the artist/author
to see if she/he is a teaching artist.

I know that once you start working with metal clay, you will enjoy
both the process and the results. Please feel free to contact me off
list if you think I can be helpful in answering any questions you
might have about metal clays.

Linda Kaye-Moses

They have a kiln and will fire for a minimal fee because they
didn't recommend the handheld little torch (I bought the PMC+).
Which did you use? 

I do not recommend torch firing unless you have someone who can
teach you in person. If I were in your place, I would pay to have
things fired for me in the kiln.


Thank you to everyone that answered !

Question: I have a kiln already that I use to do glass. Can I use
that ?


Question: I have a kiln already that I use to do glass. Can I use
that ?

absolutely… just read the required firing temperatures for the
various brands and types of clay and there you have it -a
multi-purpose kiln…

Of course you can use your kiln for metal clay. Each type of metal
clay has it’s own temperature range for firing, but for full
sintering on metal clay without any inclusions, usually a 1650 F
temperature for 10-120 minutes is recommended. You can fire some
types of metal clay as low as 1110 F for 45 minutes and still have a
successful project. Having a kiln with a programmable controller is
helpful, although not mandatory.

Sandi Graves, Beadin’ Up A Storm
Stormcloud Trading Co (Beadstorm)
Saint Paul, Minnesota USA