Syringe 2 of 3

Syringe 2

Here are three “PMC Tidbits and Tricks” on using syringe.

Syringe 1 of 3

  • Packaging
  • Hold
  • Preparation - paper towel for drippage and wipage
  • Anchors
  • Habits
  • Storage of syringe will be in Syringe 3 of 3


Syringe 2 of 3

  • Application - height and ending application
  • Application Types
  • Practice on Glass
  • Thickness and Syringe Tips
  • Strength of Syringe
  • Storage of Syringe will be in Syringe 3 of 3


 Syringe 3 of 3

  • Working Surfaces—on glass or other surface, flat or round
  • Moving—with paint brush and water
  • Cake Decorating
  • Uses—bails, bezels, eyelets, words, design, wire-warp appearance giving strength (behind earrings, bails, etc.) …
  • Repairing with Syringe
  • Storage
  • Photos

You have to know, that this is one PMCer’s way of working with syringe, not THE way. This is true of everything in life. Experiment with all your learnings and find what fits and works for you.

Okay, so I talked about wiping the syringe dry when you go to use it, Syringe 1 of 3. I thought it a good habit to get into. 

Application snd Height

Now, with dry syringe, anchor your syringe-applying hand. Anchor means to set your hand down firmly on a solid object. The closer your anchor to the syringe tip the better your control. I use a rubber block to elevate my hand also.

Also anchor your hand holding the piece of glass or the piece on which you will apply syringe. Again, as close to the syringe tip as possible. 

The round glass below is either as-is glass or a creation of PMC3, dry. Now, I have two hands that can move in small or large increments, with the intent being to apply the syringe where I want it.

Try it. Move your syringe tip in a figure eight and the piece (of glass or clay) in a figure eight at the same time.

Most often, I hold the syringe tip about a gnat’s length off the clay. That’s about 1/8 inch or a few mm. This way, the snake of clay is undamaged by pressure from top or below. This way I can direct the clay snake, as it lays down from gravity naturally.

There are some applications in which you hold the tip closer and higher. Closer for balls of syringe. Higher when you are wrapping syringe around something. With practice, you’ll figure these out.

Application Types

Syringe can be applied as a snake, a ball, a flat round, or in swirls, spirals, and more. It’s like cake decorating in miniature. See more in Syringe 3 of 3.

To make balls of clay, hold the tip closer to the surface. Hold the syringe perpendicular to the surface. Apply syringe allowing the clay to touch the tip. Keep applying, lifiting the syringe as the ball of clay grows, until you achieve the size of ball you wish. If you held the syring down on the clay you would get a donut. If you lift you get a ball. 

Sometimes, when you lift syringe off an application you leave a little peak of clay. This will either smooth down when you wet it or dry as is, in which case you can sand it.

Practice on Glass

Whenever I teach syringe, I suggest practicing on a piece of glass. It mimics applying syringe on dry clay only a little less sticky. You can dry the practice pieces and put them in your filings container.

As you practice, you’ll learn how to stop applying. You do so by pressing down microscopically then lifting quickly.

Thickness and Syringe Tips

For now, know that you can modify syringe tips. Below are three photos.

The first two are syringe tips with a small and larger part of the tip cut off. Then, the tips were squeezed to shape the extruded clay like a ribbon rather than a rope.

The olive green tip is one that comes in a Syringe Tips Set found at PMC Connection or Metal Clay Supply.

I recently received an email ad for a needle syringe tip, but I deleted it and cannot find anything on the Internet. These would be for extra tiny snakes of clay, used decoratively or to get in small places on a piece.

One could also make these needles tips if one had access to clean medical syringe needles, by filing or cutting off the beveled end and smoothing. 


In Syringe 3 of 3, I’ll help you work with your syringe if it went south, if your application didn’t turn out how you intended.

Strength of Syringe

I use syringe for making tiny bails, for decorative elements, to reinforce joints, to hold stones in place, and more. Below are some photos of examples. I have no rule for the number of snakes or thickness of syringe needed to carry an x amount of weight. I tend to default to using more than I think will be necessary. So far, all of my syringe work has held. 

In Syringe 3 of 3, I will talk about other uses of syringe.

Decoration and to hold a CZ

As tiny bails on a tubular charm

Decorative frame around bezel

Reinforce and decorate back of bail

Decorative frame around bezel and as tiny bezel itself

For online courses in metal clay, go to I Love Silver, where you learn how to design and create your own silver creations.

© Kris A Kramer 2018