Precious Metal Clay -
Development driven by a dream
Precious Metal Clay (PMC) is a remarkable material, something created by the members of the development team by continuing to chase a dream.
Precious metal clays are, as the name implies, precious metals—gold or pure silver—that can be shaped like clay. These excellent materials lets people do things such as creating one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces with equipment as simple as a home gas stove. PMC was created as a world-first material by Mitsubishi Materials in 1991.
At the time, the gold business was thriving. PMC was born at the company’s Sanda Plant, where the deputy factory manager came up with the idea. Breaking away from the norm in industrial products of producing large quantities of highly precise products, he thought about developing a product that could be used to create one-of-a-kind objects by hand. The concept was to make metal items using human hands, the ultimate mold, and involved kneading a vegetable binder (glue) and water with extremely fine pure silver powder in a unique composition. To become the first in the world to achieve this, the team continued to repeat experiments over and over, day and night. The dream they shared and that got them through this tough period was that one day they would share a drink of sake in cups made from pure silver clay.
But would they be able to achieve that dream? In the end, they were successful. A pure silver clay they developed was beautifully shaped into a cup by a potter, fired, and emerged as a perfect silver cup. For the developers, it goes without saying that the finished cup resulted in them enjoying the best sake they ever had.
Related link: Precious metal clay (PMC)