From the moment I first touched precious metal clay (PMC), I never looked at the world in the same way. Instead of seeing fruits and vegetables in the grocery store, I saw amazing textures that could find their way onto my artistic creations. Ancient textile designs became jewelry designs. The ability of this magic clay to hold detail is unsurpassed!
Mitsubishi Materials, Japanese manufacturer of highly refined gold for microchips, developed this amazing clay to answer the question “Can it be done?” Precious metal clay is made of fine metal particles suspended in an organic binder that burns away when fired, leaving just the precious metal. This is a new kind of alchemy, and it comes in 22-karat gold and fine silver, in lump, paper, and paste forms. The possibilities are endless!
Support the buttons on a few tablespoons of vermiculite. Follow the directions for firing metal clay for whatever method you are using. Hold for 10 minutes at 1,650°F. The pieces can be quenched in water immediately after firing, or left to cool in the kiln.
Using hand soap and the wire brush, scrub the cooled buttons vigorously under running water. Dry with a paper towel and don’t touch! Patinas do not like finger oils.
Add a small chip of the LOS and the ammonia to about 1⁄2 cup hot water.
Use the tweezers to dip the buttons in and out of the patina solution. Go slow — stop at the color you like best. If you don’t like it, reheat the piece in the kiln and repeat.
Resources: Metal clay supplies: http://wholelottawhimsy.com, http://cooltools.us, http://riogrande.com, http://pmcguild.com Chinese stamps: http://amazon.com