I still need to try my hand at something in PMC besides a basic bezel but it’s the unpredictability that makes me hesitate. However, with mishaps like this bit that happened to Patrik, maybe I really can just embrace it.
Patrik notes here that in the firing, not all the parts sintered properly–sintering being when the metal gets hot enough to bond but not liquefy, resulting in a partial but still strong fusing of metal parts. In precious metal clays, those parts are all the little particles suspended in the binder that allows the metal to be worked like clay. So here, not all the material fused as expected, leaving the copper with an uneven but interesting texture.
In precious metal clays, like polymer, an insufficient cure will result in less strength but it looks like all the pieces that didn’t sinter were on the surface and aren’t involved in holding the shape and structure. Which does point out that although some accidents may look cool, the item still needs to be durable and perform as intended. But if your pendant comes out warped or the clay surface gets nicked, stop and consider if the powers that be are trying to tell you to try something new.
Patrik is a designer, artist and teacher specializing in precious metal clay jewelry. You can find more of his work including some enticing tutorial videos on his website.