2008  -  GERRY WHITE - PMC Class

Go Back to Scrapbook Index      

Southern Flames was lucky to have our own Gerry White teach two PMC (Precious Metal Clay) classes specifically designed for glass beadmakers.  Gerry has 25 years experience as a goldsmith, silversmith, jewelry designer, and beadmaker.  Her store, Beads by Designs offers many many classes each month including ones on using PMC. The store also has a complete line of PMC supplies.

Gerry is also the South East Regional Director for the ISGB


The set up for each student included a folder with tutorials, an introductory booklet on PMC, kiln information and instructions for painting on glass with PMC.   Each student also received a package of PMC clay and Gerry provided all the tools needed for the class.


The first step in many PMC jewelry projects is rolling out the clay.  Playing cards are stacked on each side of the clay and then a roller is used to thin the clay evenly to the desired thickness.

In this photo a cylindrical bead is being formed by wrapping piece of rolled clay around a straw.  To build up the ends, Jerry cuts to very thin strips of clay, paints them with clay slip and sticks them to the end of the clay tube.  In this picture one strip has been attached and the other will be painted using the slip in the medicine vial and the brush.

PMC slip is made by taking tiny leftover dried pieces of PMC and reconstituting them with water to a creamy consistency.  In this picture Gerry is preparing slip for each student.  You can also see the white plastic roller that is used for rolling the clay between the playing cards.  A wet sponge (green) is used to wet larger pieces of leftover clay that will be stored and reused.


Gerry showed us how to make our own molds.  Molds can be made from leaves, shells, belt buckles or almost anything else that can be pressed into the molding product.  Once the mold is dry then PMC can be pressed into the mold to pick up the surface design.   Two types of molding material are shown here - one makes a hard mold and the other a flexible mold  The white material comes in pellets and is heated into a mass before the impression is made.   It is reusable and can be reheated to make another mold.  The mold on the right is made by mixing two materials together without any heat.  The resulting material remains flexible so that it is easy to peel the PMC clay out after an impression is made.

The photo on the right shows multiple molds made by Gerry.  On the left hand side are paper punches that can be used to cut all sorts of shapes from a PMC product which is pre-rolled to paper thickness.



Lots more more cutting tools.  Most of these are used to cut basic shapes for pendants, end caps, charms, bails and pins from rolled PMC.


Plastic sheets with different textures are used to make patterns on the clay by rolling the clay over the sheet.



Rubber stamps can also be used to make impressions on the clay.



After a PMC piece is dried and baked, rough edges can be filed off using emory boards or sandpaper.  Afterwards the the piece is patinaed and polished with hand tools or in a tumbler.

Gerry had lots of books on PMC for us to look at as well as many for sale at the shop.  Beads By Design carries a full line of PMC supplies and classes if you are interested in learning how to make your own silver pieces.

Go Back to Scrapbook Index