What is Metal Clay?

Apple tree textured pendant

In the 1990’s Mitsubishi was looking for a method to lay down metal onto circuit boards. They realized that Precious Metal Clay (PMC) (brand name) would be wonderful for jewelers. Metal clay is an organic binder with very fine particles of metal suspended in it. The product looks and works just like clay, thus the name. In the past, if you wanted a small silver cow you would carve a cow out of a piece of wax. You would then make a mold from the wax cow and take this mold to a foundry to pour liquid silver in. Then after much cleaning of the silver cow, removing spurs and seams lines you would have your silver cow. With metal clay you form your cow out of the metal clay, let it dry, clean up the piece (dry clay versus cleaning solid silver) and then throw it in the kiln. The binder burns off, the metal particles sinter together and out of the kiln comes a perfect pure silver cow. Metal clay now comes in a large variety of metals. Personally I use Fine Silver (99.9% silver), Copper and Bronze.