New PMC 960 combines the best of fine silver and sterling silver metal clay!

I just finished reading a new blog post by my dear friend and metal clay & polymer clay mentor Celie Fago that left me so excited I can hardly type! So excited, in fact, that I didn't want to wait until tomorrow morning to share the news about this new silver clay formula that you can mix yourself from two commercially available PMC silver clay formulas.

PMC Sterling has a lot of terrific characteristics. It's much stronger than fine silver clay, making it ideal for applications like ring shanks, thin snakes, coils, tendrils, etc., and it's also much easier to carve without chipping. But it also has some significant drawbacks, the primary one being that PMC Sterling needs to be fired in activated carbon. A carbon firing requirement is a major deterrent to using any metal clay formula. Not only is carbon firing longer, more time consuming and messier, clay formulas that require carbon firing tend to have a much narrower and less forgiving firing schedule range within which they will sinter properly. That's one of the reasons we all love working with fine silver clay - it's so easy, and comparatively fast, to sinter it successfully!

About 1.5 years ago, Celie, Tim McCreight and a few other artists were brainstorming about PMC Sterling when Tim came up with the idea of enriching PMC Sterling with more fine silver. Brilliant! Celie has been experimenting with the formula that she and those colleagues have been calling "960", which is made by mixing equal parts of fine silver PMC and PMC Sterling clay to create a clay with the best of both worlds: excellent strength, easy to carve, sinters with minimum distortion, and one-phase firing on an open kiln shelf without the need for activated carbon. Celie also has found that, as one would expect, the higher silver content allows sintered "PMC 960" to bond more readily to gold keum-boo foil than PMC Sterling. And because this new alloy formula produces .960 silver metal after it has sintered, it can be marked sterling silver legally.

Celie's work is absolutely exquisite, and "960" has become her silver clay of choice for most applications. She recently taught a class in which she had her students mix up and use their own batches of "960" clay, and she says the students gave this enriched silver clay formula "rave reviews."

"PMC 960" is a cinch to mix up, and it seems to me to be a significant breakthrough. I can't wait to try it myself!

To learn more about this new formula and Celie's experiences with it (not to mention viewing the extraordinary work she's doing with it), run - don't walk - and check out her detailed blog post:

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