Transitioning from PMC+ to PMC3
By Lois LynnI’ve used PMC+ for almost six years, so making a transition to PMC3 might end up being a big deal. But how much different can PMC3 be from PMC+? I need to find out because a change in the way a medium I’m familiar with responds can really throw me off. That being said, I need to compare “apples to apples” as much as possible. So for this first project, I decide to create a focal bead from PMC3 similar to one I made in PMC+. That way I can clearly compare the feel and pliability of one to the other.
Well, I found there are differences, subtle, yes but definite differences between them. PMC3 has a slightly tacky feel and seems to dry out more quickly, giving me less work time to refine the molded embellishments before I mount them on the bead. But once mounted, the molded pieces hold their detail much better as I touch them when I rotate the piece to do the embellishing. This is a definite plus!
I also used PMC3 oil slip exclusively when working with the project. My mix rate is 12 drops of lavender essential oil to a new container of PMC3 for doing the embellishment. I find that once the slip goes on the surface and dries, I cannot manipulate it. With the other material, I can apply a wet brush and tone down the applied details. But with the oil slip, what I put down is what I had to live with. This discovery causes me to change my approach on how to embellish my piece. I end up drawing out the complete design with all details before I apply any oil slip to the surfaces. Not a bad thing, really. It does take some of the creativity out of working with the piece.
After I fire the bead I find the oil paste embellishments re much stronger than I had thought. It makes the bead look quite busy so I antiqued it several times until the coral background was quite dark. I mask off the two shells and the stone mounting so they would be bright silver, then polish the top surfaces of the coral so the shells will stand out.
Something came to me as I am working on this project. As I “tuck in” all the embellishments and details, I find I’m really enjoying myself. It’s very soothing, almost comforting… making sure all is well and secure on my piece… almost like putting an adored child to bed. Some say I spend much too much time on the details and finishing… but now I know why I do. It’s sort of a conversation I have with the piece… asking it where it wants more detail, is the whole thing balanced, is this detail secure, do I need a stone added - things like that. Strange? Yes, but very satisfying. I guess you never stop learning about yourself. And that’s what makes life interesting.