Yesterday, I created my first silver pendant! It is, in my terms, extremely tiny, but it was a good beginner’s trial and the process was fun! I basically spent an afternoon at Red Dot Design Museum with Nana from Roomism who was conducting the class. It was my first time attempting something that is completely custom.
Working with Precious Metal Clay(PMC), which is basically a modelling clay with silver molecules suspended in it. PMC is manufactured by Mitsubishi, developed in the 90’s.
Kept the design fairly simple, although the possibilities are ENDLESS. I have never worked extensively with clay, so I was a little apprehensive at first. But then it wasn’t really that bad. I’m a very kinesthetic learner, so I got the hang of it pretty quickly.
The raw modelled piece drying off on a coffee warmer. It was like playing with plasticine. VERY NOSTALGIC!
The dried clay pieces ready to be fired in a kiln to get the final silver piece. The round pieces here have paper cut-outs embedded in them, so the pendant would have a debossed effect, since the paper would obviously disintegrate after firing.
The pieces are put into the kiln, fired at 775˚C for 15 minutes. There was such anticipation! MAAD Market was going on as well, so you had the designers/crafters/artisans mingling and waiting for the final silver pieces to be ready. But things are not so instant around here!
The pieces come out looking all pale and powdery and you think, “What?! That’s it?!” They’re basically .999 silver pieces already. All it takes is ‘some’ buffing and polishing. By ‘some’, I mean 1-2 hours of. I would happily put in 3 hours of buffing to get a piece right. I’m patient. REALLY patient.
The buffing process was strangely therapeutic for me. It put me in some sort of a trance as I slowly see the surface become shinier. I love shiny things. But it was agreed that my pendant should retain a slightly raw look.
A bit of patina will make this pop with all the texture, but overall, I’m really happy with it. Not too bad for a first time!