Torch Firing Silver
for PMC+, PMC3, Art Clay
Silver, or Art Clay 650.
You can use the mini butane torch to fire your own Silver Clay pieces.
Read and follow all directions for the torch.
- You can fire PMC+, PMC3, or Art Clay Silver work pieces.
- You can fire pieces with CZs and Lab Grown Gemstones with the torch.
- Torch firing is not recommended for large hollow forms with cork
clay or other flammable cores.
- You SHOULD NOT fire pieces with any type of glass in them (the glass
- You SHOULD NOT fire pieces made of Standard PMC (unless you want
to hold the torch on it for 2 hours).
- Take out the soldering block and place it on a NON-FLAMABLE SURFACE.
If your counter top or table is flammable (most are), place an upside
down cookie sheet, pan, or baking dish between the counter and the
- Place your thoroughly dried Silver Clay project on the soldering
- It is best to do the firing in a slightly darkened area with good
ventilation. Some smoke will be produced during firing. If the object
being fired has a flammable core or is a painted leaf, more smoke will
be created and could set off any fire alarms!
- Fill the torch with the butane provided and light it. Set the flame
to the middle of its range and aim it at the Silver Clay object. Move
the flame over the piece, holding the torch an inch or two away from
the item being fired. It is very important to keep the flame moving
so that the object is heated evenly. If you can see it, keep the blue
cone about an inch away from the object. As the piece heats up, some
smoke will be released.
- The piece will begin to glow orange (most visible in a darkened area
away from the window or lamp); at this stage keep the flame playing
over the item for 2-5 minutes. Larger pieces must be fired longer (5
minutes). Very large pieces should be fired in a kiln.
If your piece never becomes orange, it is too big or has too much
surface area to be fired with a mini-torch.
DO NOT OVERFIRE the piece. If you see the silver turning shiny, you
need to hold the torch further away from the piece and move it around
more. Ideally, the Silver Clay will just reach the fusing point of
the silver particles and the surface will have a white matte finish.
If the silver has a shiny surface, the surface has reached the melting
point. This often results in small holes in the work piece. If you
heat it even more, the work piece will fold in on itself and eventually
ball up. If you want to, you can practice on a small piece of rolled
out dried clay to get a feel for the proper firing and melting technique.
DO NOT use jewelers or other very hot torches because it is
easy to melt the Silver Clay work piece. The mini butane torch is hot
enough and easier to control, as well as being small and easy to handle.
Refill butane cartridges are available in most hardware stores.
- After firing, turn the torch off and allow the piece to cool. If
there are no gem or other stones in the piece, you can quench it in
- After cooling, you see that the fired silver has a matte white finish.
This is the natural color of the fired silver. To get a silvery polish,
brush the piece lightly with the stainless steel brush. This will give
you a brushed surface. Follow the brushing with burnishingpress
and rub (or polish) the areas you want to be shiny with the burnisher.
This will harden the silver as well as polishing it. You can also use
metal polish to achieve the desired look. Note that leaves and hollow
forms are often not strong enough to withstand burnishing because they
are very thin. Very thin or fragile pieces are often better left with
a brushed finish. You can combine all three finishes (matte, brushed,
and burnished) in one piece as part of the design.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see the following
article from Studio PMC Torch
Firing PMC+ by Tim McCreight.
San Pablo, CA 94806
Phone / fax: 510-236-2313