As you all probably know, I’m editor of Studio PMC, the PMC Guild’s
quarterly magazine. I’m also writing from the PMC Conference. I’ve
spent most of the last two years steeped in all things PMC. So I’m
certainly biased in PMC’s favor.
PMC has been rejected by a lot of people as a “short cut” or as
"play doh for jewelers." I think that’s selling PMC short. I’ve seen
some spectacular work in the last couple of years, and in the last
couple of days, for that matter. I have also seen some pretty, well,
unimpressive work along the way. And sometimes, I’ve had both from
the same artist. Often the unimpressive gives way to the impressive,
so there’ s definitely a learning curve here – and if you give up
when the first results are unimpressive, you never get to the
impressive part. Remember the first piece you made in beginning
jewelry class? Was that a work of art?
But I think maybe PMC enthusiasts have made another mistake. In
their enthusiasm, they’ve insisted that PMC is good for EVERYTHING.
As an earlier poster noted, they’ve spent weeks and months figuring
out how to make PMC do the same thing as fabrication techniques –
and the results haven’t always been impressive.
But when PMC is used for the things it excels at, WOW! When it’s
used to copy something more easily done by other methods, the results
are less exciting. I think we’re only just reaching the point where
artists are beginning to grasp the stuff PMC is good for, and
bringing to bear other skills on the places where it’s not so great.
I think as time goes on, we’ll see more wonderful, innovative work.
Whether you choose to work in PMC or not, I think it’s foolish to
dismiss an entire medium as amateur. Take, for example, the medium of
Picasso, Van Gogh, and Da Vinci – paint. The same medium is used by
hobbyists and even children. Most of the paintings made, as a matter
of fact, are a long, long way from works of art. But no one suggests
that Picasso’s work is worthless because he used a medium beloved by
hobbyists, nor do they argue that great art can’t be made with paint
just because my five year old can use it too.
It’s not the medium, it’s the artist. If the medium doesn’t inspire
you as an artist, that’s just fine. But you might consider reserving
judgement on others until you’ve actually seen their work – someday,
someone might surprise you.