Sunday, November 4, 2012

Precious Metal Clay Workshop

Yesterday was my PMC class.  Up early, dashing about, off I go to find the location of the workshop, 26 miles away in Clackamas, Oregon.  There were 3 students.  Our instructor was Debra Carus, an extremely talented jeweler - check out some of her work here.  Here is my silver project, the bell.  I'll tell you more...
After introductions of the students and a quick tour of her studio, Debra began with a lesson on how to work with the clay and how to use the tools.  One thing I really appreciated is that Debra asked US what we wanted to make, she didn't have us make what SHE thought we should make.  
We all toiled away on our projects - I wanted to make a bell.  I realize now that was a pretty ambitious first project!  The other 2 students made flat projects, a pair of earrings and 2 pendants.  I should have done that! :-)  But I made a little rustic or primitive bell, and a little clanger and a little bead.  Here Debra demonstrates how to use the butane torch.  She also had a kiln and my bell was fired in there, but I got to use the torch to burn out/fire my clanger and bead. :-)
Ta-dah!  My tiny little clanger and bead after they were polished in Debra's mechanical polisher.  I would give myself a C- on these, but they work. LOL! 
Debra gave me a length of sterling silver wire and some tools to use and I put my clanger on the end and threaded it up through the bell and then added my bead to the top and wire wrapped a loop on top.  AND IT RINGS AND WORKS!
Next we worked on using copper metal clay and I made a little bucket.  ME and my dang propensity towards 3 dimensional objects!  This was pretty hard to make, actually.  After it was fired, the little crack you see on the back where I joined the clay together opened and is pretty prominent.  This piece did not get done before it was time to head home, so it's not shined up and a bail will need to be made.  It's not perfect.  But we'll see what it looks like when done.  I was going for a used old farm bucket.. at least that's the excuse I will use.  LOL!  :-)
SO... now I know how to do this.  I had bought a kit some time ago, but I did not know how to use the tools or how to use the torch, or how much to burn out the clay, etc.  Now I can do projects at home!  

I'm awaiting the delivery of my yarn so I can get going on my holiday blanket.  I hope you're having or have had a nice weekend - and I hope the week ahead will be a lovely one.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. It is always fun to learn new things. I would definitely give you an A. I think your bell is just perfect.

  2. Glad you had fun you now is a lot harder than it looks. I have only just ventured onto 3d projects! Your bell is very sweet, enjoy playing with this fascinating medium.
    Jane x

  3. I love the little bell, I think it fell off Santa's sleigh! xxx

  4. Love the bell! Is there anything you can't do? Great photos and love hearing about learning new things. :)

    Blessings always

  5. Too cool! I think your bell and clanger turned out great. Can't wait to see some things like this in your shop. I've been eyeballing your shelves for a long while now.

  6. I was not at all familiar with PMC. I like the shapes you chose to make, and your results even if you feel you were overly ambitious. Your post prompted me to look up the history of PMC and I was very surprised to see that it was developed in 1995. Thanks for posting, Teresa! xx from Gracie

  7. Hi Teresa, What a fun class you had. I love the bell and I think the pail will be great! The bell rings, how sweet. Dayle can now hear you coming. I think that was a really clever idea for a project. I love bells too. Just what you need another craft!!!! Your blanket sounds exciting and festive. Hope you get your yarn soon.
    Have a great week. See you later, xoRobin❤

  8. You have such a wide range of hobbies Teresa. I think your little bell is very cute. Look forward to seeing your next yarn project. Xoxoxo

  9. Wow Teresa!! What a perfectly lovely bell. And, I can't wait to see the completed bucket. Such talent in your hands my dear! And the class was in Clackamas? Here I sit in Clackamas. We could have met for lunch again, (or tea, or something!).
    Have a wonderful week!

  10. Your little bell is lovely, Teresa! You did really well making it as your first project too! You are such a creative lady :)
    Have a happy week.
    Helen x

  11. Hi Teresa....I give "A" deserves so much more than a "C" good job! Shari!

  12. Isn't it amazing stuff?!?! I love it. I've made several pieces with just hasn't been in my budget with one in college.

  13. Such a cute little bell, well done Teresa! :-) xxxx


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