Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Making PMC Sterling Silver Slip & Syringes

by Janet Alexander

Technical Advisor

I am honored to be the new Technical Advisor for the PMC Connection. For this first post, I thought about writing about myself and my experience. But in the end, I decided you’d be more interested in learning some tips! With over the 35+ years of making jewelry I’ve come up with some shortcuts and tips for getting odd things done. I hope to pass some of these ideas on to you in my new role.

So, how about making slip and syringes from PMC Sterling?

With the new sterling silver metal clay, there is a lot to experiment with. Limits to push and uses to discover. The first thing I wanted to do was make some sterling silver slip and syringe clay. I am used to working with PMC3 and I like using these two clay forms. Yes, slip can be made easily by taking a wet brush and painting it on the lump clay, but I don’t always want to spend my time making slip each time I need it. Having some made and stored can be a real time-saver.

Making Slip

Here's what you’ll need:
  • Small container with a lid
  • 6mm round ball of lump sterling silver clay
  • A very small amount of distilled water (start with ½ teaspoon)
  • A clay shaper, flat or round

Place the lump clay into the container, pressing it flat inside the container.

Add a small amount of water.

Mix by pressing the clay against the side of the container until it is diluted to a smooth consistency.

Allow it to sit overnight and it will become very smooth.

Making A Sterling Silver Clay Syringe

You will need:
  • An empty syringe (I recycle my used PMC3 syringes.)
  • Snake roller
  • Small amount of Sterling Silver Metal Clay

Using the snake roller, roll the clay into a tube shape so that it can fit into the syringe tube.

Place the clay into the open end of the syringe, pressing it down into the tube with the plunger.

Keep pressing until all air is out.

Place clean tip on syringe.

While I am working with the clay, I keep my syringe sitting in a small container with a sponge and water. This keeps the tip from drying. I also store my brush there too, keeping it moist.

I am looking forward to sharing ideas and tips. Please ask questions and share your ideas too!


Julie Cannariato said...

Come on Janet, tell us about yourself! Thanks for the tips and congrats on the appointment as Technical Advisor.

tammi said...

Janet, don't you need to dilute the clay a little to squeeze it through the syringe tip?

Babette said...

These are great tips, Janet! Thanks so much - what a great help this will be.

Mary Ellen said...

Hi Janet,
Have you tried lavender paste out of sterling clay> I had a sterling ring break and I wondered if anyone had tried lavendar paste to connect fired sterling clay pieces.

Mary Ellen

Lora Hart said...

In my original tests with Sterling clay, I intentionally joined two fired components with lavender oil paste. It worked great! Since it was handmade, the paste was thick like plaster. I put a bit of water on both elements and then a healthy layer of slip on one. Made the join, held it together for about 30 seconds, cleaned up the ooze, and placed it on a kiln shelf to dry. Then popped it in the kiln for an hour and fired. Presto Chango - ring with topper!

Janet Alexander said...

Tammi, the clay doesn't need to be diluted at all. Not diluting the clay makes it as strong as the lump clay.
Julie, Lora Hart will be posting an interview about me soon.
Thanks Babette!
MaryEllen, I concur with Lora Hart about the lavender oil paste. I have used it with great success too.

tammi said...

Thanks for the clarification Janet. I will give it a try.

Mary Ellen said...

Lori and Janet - Thanks to you both for your experience with sterling lavender paste. I will try it and report back my results!

Janet Alexander said...

After playing with the syringe clay this weekend I wanted to update my advice! It does need diluting a little bit. As I used it it became harder to squeeze out of the syringe. So, Tammi good call!

I will remove the clay from the syringe, roll it out inside a report cover, spritz it with distilled water, ball it up into a ball, and roll it out again over and over until it is diluted a little more!

tammi said...

Janet - I thought it might be a little stiff. I will give your idea a try. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm Sorry, I'm just here to ask about your Co. GOLD CLAY, say I made a row of 5 stars and fired them according to req. after that would They be 100% Gold? Thank You, Eric

Brianna said...

Thank you for this post.

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