Syringe 3 of 3

Syringe 3

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 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

Working on Glass or Other Surface

Syringe may be applied on any surface, directly on to your PMC creation or on a piece of glass or plastic. The surface may be flat, round, or of varying heights.

If you are applying it directly onto dried clay, it tends to adhere to dry clay more than glass. Therefore, with the method described below, your ability to re-locate or move the syringe is less on dry clay than glass.

As you apply syringe, the tip of your syringe can be held at various distances from the surface. Most often my tip is 1 to 3 mm from the surface. If I am wrapping the rope of syringe around an element, my rope can be as much as 20 mm long. 

Many times before I add syringe, I draw in pencil the design or where I want my syringe clay to go.

If you have a complicated syringe element that will go on a flat or slightly uneven surface, you can create the entire element on a piece of glass. Allow it to dry, then transfer it to the desired location. 

To apply, position the dried syringe in place, then add water. Use a wet paintbrush to position. The dry syringe will soak up the water and soften, so you have hardly a minute to maneuver it into place. Be sure to have read Adhering PMC3 to PMC3.

The OHM sign below was created as follows. I printed out an OHM sign of the size I wanted. I placed that underneath a piece of glass. I applied syringe to the glass that was oiled slightly with olive oil. For the places in the OHM sign where several strands come together and seem to blend into a smooth edge, I applied water after all ropes were put into place and stroked the edge with a paintbrush. See below under Moving with Paint Brush and Water.

I allowed the OHM to dry. I then took a tissue blade and scraped the OHM off the glass. In that process it broke into three pieces. Can you tell?

I placed my dried OHM on the background piece, added water, and used a wet paintbrush to massage it into place for my desired look. I did this three times—once for each piece.

Moving with Paint Brush and Water

I am not that accomplished that I could apply syringe to make the OHM without some “editing.” So here is how I edited it. I added water. I placed the tip of a small paintbrush on the background surface, next to the rope of syringe, and pushed the rope into place. It is important to move the rope of syringe from its underside; otherwise, you put marks in the visible part of the rope.

These photos show this process on glass. 

There is quite a difference in the strength of the paintbrush in its saturated form or pressed-dry form. For example, when I stroked the edges to smooth them into one another iin the OHM I first wet the paintbrush, then ran it between two fingers to squeegee out the water. This gave me a moist brush with a pretty hard and flat tip.

Sometimes I want to end my syringe rope with a taperered end, as in the back of a charm below. To make this, I hold the syringe tip close to the surface, if not touching it slightly, and stop pressing the plunger while continuing to move the tip away or in the direction I want the tapered end to go. In the charm below, I zig-zagged the rope first, again holding the tip very close to the surface.

If youwant to blend a tapered syringe end into other syringe ropes, as I described above in the OHM piece, add water, squeegee a wet paintbrush tip between your fingers, and stroke to blend.

Cake Decorating

The sky is the limit for applications of syringe. You can apply round, flat, square, triangular ropes of syringe. You can apply lines, squiggles, make leaves, and other decorations such as you would find on cakes.


Syringe work can be used for bails (like in the charm above), bezels, prongs, eyelets, words, decoratvie designs, wire-wrap appearance, giving strength (behind earrings, balls) and tons more. At the bottom of this page are many photos of the various uses and applications of syringe.

Repairing with Syringe

Syringe is well used for joining two pieces of dry clay. I attach all my bails with a significant blob of syringe (and copious water). 

Syringe can be used also to repair two pieces that have brokenn apart. And it can be used to fill in a nick or dent or to smooth out not-smooth clay. I’ve tried PMC Paste to fill in holes but it only adds layers, which leaves the geography of the piece the same. A squirt of syringe actually fills in dents. Smooth the surface with a wet finger.


The photo below is a Ball jar in which I’ve stored my syringes since 2009. The water has a little vinegar in it to prevent mold. 

I usually have two or more syringes in the jar, each with a different syringe tip.

This is the same jar I toss my syringes into when I am applying syringe (see under Habits in Syringe 1 of 3). 

Just the other day, I poured out most the water and added the sludge at the bottom to my recycle jar.

If you want something neater and nicer looking, try Linda’s Lid Syringe Holder.

That’s everything I know about syringe work. If you have questions, email me.


Here are a bunch of photos to see some examples of what you can do with syringe. Happy syringing!

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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