I have been wanting to take a class in precious metal clay (PMC) for a long time and finally had a chance over the weekend. Barbara McGuire was a guest instructor at Angela's Happy Stamper and taught two PMC classes. I could only afford to take one, but I am so happy I did! I enjoyed the class very much, and it was so great (and dangerous) to see a whole new way to use my stamps.
PMC is real silver with a binding agent so you can mold it as you would any other clay. You can then stamp into it and cut out shapes to make any sort of jewelry you want. When you fire it in a kiln, the binding agent burns off and you are left with a hardened piece that is real silver. (This is why it is such an expensive medium to choose). Of course, now I want a kiln, clay tools, liver of sulphur, a rock tumbler..... sigh!
I tried to take a close up of my necklace, so it is hard to judge the final size. The finished piece is about 7/8" x 1 3/8." I designed the center oval to fit a specific handmade bead, but I don't think it will be hard to find other beads that will fit. This type of jewelry is perfect for me because I love beads, but I am not a beader. This way I can buy a bead that I like and "highlight" it with the silver. Fun!