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What is Precious Metal Clay?

If you want to understand my love for working with Precious Metal Clay (PMC), look no further than the Sixteen50° name. 1,650° F (900° C) happens to the temperature at which PMC must be fired in a kiln to become the solid silver of my Sixteen50° jewelry. 

The properties of PMC enable me to hand-make high-quality jewelry from my own home studio. PMC allows me to create the dynamic and strong shapes I desire without using molds and at speeds that allow me to remain the individual creator and crafter of each piece. 

A metallurgist named Dr. A. Morikawa along with Mitsubishi Materials of Japan developed PMC in the early 1990s. It consists of microscopic particles of pure silver or fine gold powder and a water-soluble, non-toxic, organic binder which burns off during the aforementioned firing.

Why I love working with PMC is because in the creation stage, it has the malleability and feeling of modeling clay, allowing me to use a wide range of tools and techniques to hand-craft the shapes and textures of a piece, and ultimately develop the piece's personality. This versatility in the creation stage allows me to create what I like think of as those ineffable jewelry experiences we all love. 

After working with the PMC at this stage, I air-dry the piece prior to heating it in a kiln where the piece becomes a dense and fully metallic object. To finish it, I'll do anything from polishing it in a burnisher or in a tumbler, soldering it, enameling it or doing whatever I think it takes to make it a full-fledged complete Sixteen50° piece.