I can, and do, deal with magnetic needleminders from polymer clay, with tons of bling, and even ones from felt. I make my own ones, but until I saw Michelle Ink’s charming magnets I hadn’t heard, or even thought of, ones made out of precious metals.
With the price of silver so high, I figured it was a luxury I couldn’t afford.
Nothing could be further from the truth. These magnets are priced similarly to other popular magnets out there and have a wonderful hand-crafted look that’s very appealing.
I was intrigued, so I asked Michelle about it. She told me about the process:
Precious Metal Clay (PMC) comes in silver, gold, brass, copper and platinum. the particles are scraped from old electronics, then suspended in an organic “clay”. after molding, shaping, carving(sometimes all 3!) – and left to dry, the pieces are fired in a kiln, where the clay literally flames away and the silver particles are left to sinter, (about 2 hrs for ultimate strength). When they come out of the kiln, I polish, stain(to bring out the detail) and polish some more.
I had seen PMC in catalogs and wondered how the finished product looked. I can tell you, it looks as if the designs were cast traditionally, a process requiring more skill and considerably higher heat.
There are two categories of magnets, some are entirely silver, often with bits of color rubbed into them. This gives them an appealing antique look, almost as if they had been rescued from am old jewelry box and put to use. The others have a large, usually glass, rock or bead incorporated in them. The beads often come from thrift shops and rescued items.
The combination of vintage and hand-crafted gives each magnet real personality.
I tested a crab magnet on a sea blue bead. The placement of the crab makes it look as if he had just crawled up onto this craggy rock.
In testing the magnet, I found it to be sturdy and well-made. In my case, the bead is rather large, almost 1/2″ thick, so I was worried the needles wouldn’t stay on, but the Rare Earth magnets work just fine.
Although you can find these magnets in your LNS and sold on-line as needleminders, you may also see them sold as magnetic pins. Because of their style and materials, it’s worth considering wearing them, by placing the free magnet under your clothes and the minder on top.