First PMC
Oh, glorious texture...

Ivy Solomon's workshop was not, actually, my first to learn this medium. My approach—as indeed the class itself—was much more free-form, and I certainly enjoyed the intricate textures I was able to achieve. However, I didn't like the clunky method we used for making loops, which to my eye gave the pieces a very unprofessional look, as did the unfinished backs.

Ivy Woodrose's pieces are successful for a variety of reasons, but one of them is the way in which the artist contrasts very clean traditional metalworking technique with the fabulous texture that pmc provides. There is no question, looking at this woman's work, that her mastery of standard metal technique is first-rate. There is also no question, looking at my primitive efforts here, that mine isn't.

Note that these pieces include strips of the pmc ‘paper’—hideously expensive but very fun indeed.

So that may be why, even with the allure of marvelous texture, that I didn't do much with pmc. (There was also, at that time, a raging debate that firing pmc in your kiln was deposit silver on it, which would then subsequently affect and discolor some soft glasses.) Time passed; I took another workshop with a far more limited, but successful approach; and pmc+, which only needs to be fired to 1200 deg F, became more common. —My kiln will go up to 1650, but it takes it a long time, it leaks heat (the bricks stop fitting properly when it's that hot) and I just got the sense that I was wasting a lot of electricity and element life to no good purpose.

The new stuff, however, fires at the same temperature I heat boro to strike (striking temperatures for glass are generally just above the soak temp), and moreover, can be mixed with sterling. And I liked the forms we learned in Ivy's class: clearly, this is a medium I find somewhat intimidating (partially because of the preciousness of the material, but mostly because of the cost—pmc costs 5x as much as conventional sterling), but at long last, I'm starting to play.

A little.

post created 19jan06