Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PMC Certification

I just returned from a 3 day course at the lovely Vitrum Studios in Beltsville Maryland.  I took the Rio Grande PMC certification class which allows me to get a discount on PMC products and to teach classes in PMC.  The extensive 3 day class is about technique, it is not a creative class.  But even so, it is defiantly worthwhile

My teacher was Terry Kovalcik, a master a PMC manipulation and technique. He was a great instructor for this course, tough but with a good sense of humor.  And he generously shared a lot of his personal tips and techniques at the end of the class.

For this class you are required to finish seven projects.  The projects are a bit silly, but they are designed to practice skills and intoduce you to the different PMC products that are available. I'm glad that I was exposed to some of these products, even if I never choose to experiment with them.  One example is the torch fired ring.  First of all, I don't believe in torch firing PMC, and a ring made this way is not practical as it will never be strong enough. Even Terry advised against it, but the experience of making the ring was a helpful to me.  Also made another ring with a set CZ fired into it, something I will probably never do again.

OK, what did I love to make? The tetrahedron project was a real challenge and sometimes the sanding a polishing was tedious, but it was an important exercise. The lentil bead project was a lot of fun.  I loved all the possibilites of PMC sheet, and even though the woven earrings I made are not anything I would ever wear.  I'm so excited to work with this type of PMC.  Same for the gold Aura 22.

My favorite project by far was the last, the pen.  I can't wait to make Yads (for torah reading) based on this project. 

I have been contemplating taking this class for a couple of years.  It is expensive, especially because it is never offered in or near St. Louis.  And the class definitely is a demonstration of product and a certain technique.  This is the technique that is mandated by the makers of PMC and the artist that they have selected as their masters.  They do things and certain way and believe that they is the only way it can be done.  Well, I do not think that is necessarily so. But I do believe that knowledge is power.  And I have learned a lot of alternative methods to join, decorate and finish PMC.  I think that the skills that I had before combined with the new knowledge will help me with my future designs and projects.  I so look forward to getting a bulk of time in the studio to work.

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