February 11, 2011

Meet Emily B. Miller, Beaducation Online PMC Instructor

If you do a Google search on PMC you get various results. Many of them include the words "public," "personalized," "medical," "military," "central" and "challenge."

Then you come to "Precious Metal Clay." Thank goodness.

For those of you not in the know, Precious Metal Clay (hereafter referred to as PMC) is a brand name for metal clay. Metal clay is an art medium consisting of microns of metals mixed with an organic binder and water. It can be shaped, carved or molded like clay and then dry fired with a torch or in a kiln. The binder burns away during firing (technically referred to as "sintering")  and the finished piece is solid metal.

It's like magic.

Beaducation offers several classes that use this miracle metal. Today, we want to introduce you to PMC Instructor, Emily B. Miller.

Emily shares how she first found PMC in her Beaducation Bio, "Stringing beads led to beadweaving, looping wire led to metalsmithing, which led to metal clay....Teaching classes in PMC is her joy. The alchemy of this revolutionary material is limited only by your ideas; you can make anything.."

We asked her to share some thoughts and pictures on her work with PMC. We loved finding out more about this dynamic instructor and hope that you will, too.

Take it away, Emily!

The Beginning:
           I started working with PMC over ten years ago. I was a beader - hard core into seedbeads, wire, all the instant gratification jewelry making. I had tried metalsmithing in college, but the tools and space required didn’t fit in my apartment lifestyle. PMC offered such freedom to experiment, play, work and re-work that it was instant love. I bought a kiln after working with PMC for about three weeks! The best features of PMC then are the same ones that keep me exploring and evolving every time I open that silver package. 

PMC Component Bracelet

The Ease of Use:
PMC requires a starter kit of about $25 worth of tools, plus the kiln. The five tools I use the most are the silicone work mat, plastic roller, playing cards, small drill set and a salon board file. Cutting or making shapes is easy. Use small cookie cutters or templates. Tearing by hand is an option too! Textures come from almost anything: brass texture plates, buttons, metal stamps (lookin’ at you Beaducation) rubberstamps and found objects galore.

Cool Leather Cuff with Brass Hex Nuts

Work It:
Be spontaneous with PMC. Pinch off a bit. Roll it in your fingers. Press a button into it and you have a charm. Don’t like it? Roll it up and try again. Many of the best designs I’ve made came while I was making something else, or was suddenly inspired. It’s right there under your hand at your workbench, ready to go. 

 Lovely examples of Emily's Empty Box Pendant class, also found on Beaducation,
filled with treasures.

PMC plays well with others. After firing it can be enameled, soldered, riveted, stamped, and treated like any other metal. It is metal after all!

 The Unbreakable Heart pendant. Classic.
The Class:
The Unbreakable Heart came about in just this way, while teaching a class. I was looking at my new brass nuts and bolts and having a discussion about hearts with a student. ‘I hate hearts,’ she says, ‘too sweet and cute.' ‘I love hearts,' I reply, ‘especially classic, kinda tough ones.'  I cut, dried and drilled two matching hearts, fired, and riveted them together. I’ve continued to use some of the techniques used in the Unbreakable Heart, riveting with leather, using nuts and bolts to attach layers, and make frames.

Thanks Emily for sharing your PMC experiences. Your pieces are beautiful. Now comes the exciting news for you...if your imagination is sparked to try out your own "Unbreakable Heart" you are in luck...

Today through Friday, February 18, the Unbreakable Heart Pendant class is 20% off. This class is perfect for the student who has had some prior PMC experience...and wants to make an awesome piece of jewelry.

(Novice, newbie, ready-to-jump-in? Try the Intro to PMC class first to get some basics under your belt.)  

This class is just ONE of THREE classes that are 20% off this month. The theme is "Classes that we LOVE" Lilies and Leaves, Fleur de Link and of course Unbreakable Heart Pendant.

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