I just made up a batch of granulation glue which worked quite well.
However, there is a difference between granulating with gold and
with silver that hasn't been mentioned here.
Here are some tips which should will give you successful pieces.
1) Granulation glue mixture. 10 drops of DISTILLED water, 3 drops of
Batterns flux and 3 drops of Titebond Hide Glue. Use a small plastic
container with a lid. Use separate eye droppers for each one. Don't
cross contaminate. Make small batches at a time. Put the date on your
jar when you make the glue, toss it out after two weeks. It's such
small amounts anyway, compared to redoing the granules.
2) The fine silver should be painted with yellow ochre on one side.
This helps insulate the silver keeping everything nice and hot.
3) Although you can work directly on a charcoal block, I like to
heat everything up in a kiln first and then use the torch.
4) Yellow ochre is messy and contaminates everything. Keep your work
5) Unless you are using sterling silver granules, there is no need
to coat them in copper. Fine silver works the best.
6) I like to use a water color plastic painters tray. It has about 8
round scoops, perfect for storing the granules, some water and the
glue. If too much glue is used, a little touch of water with your
paint brush works wonders to reduce the glue's grip.
7) Before you place your newly glued spheres with your silver into
the kiln, be sure to dry the glue out first. Parking them next to the
kiln opening works well. I didn't wait a couple of times and watched
my gold spheres jump off. Place your dried piece onto the kiln shelf
and wait for it to heat up. Once it gets hot, take your torch with a
small tip and wave it gently over your piece. Once it heats up, wait
for the blink or small shimmer and your granules will fuse nicely.
Once they have adhered, I like to blow on the metal to cool it down.
If you get a new trinket kiln, be very careful, as they are hot and
will literally melt your piece!
8) If you are making a piece with wires, fuse these first. It's nice
to have a little steel spatula to push the wires down if you need to.
Do it while it is hot though.
Gold is similar except you have to coat your granules first with
copper. The copper creates a eutectic bonding, sort of an
intermediate stage between the gold. Use 22K and above.
To charge the granules, one way is to use saturated pickle in a
copper dish. Place the granules in the dish and dip a little steel
wool. Personally, I like to use very thick steel wool, as the little
pieces of steel don't come off in the solution. If they do, they are
easy to retrieve.
Thanks to Ronda Coryell for all this info.
Couple of great sites to look at granulation.
Who is looking forward to Tucson!!!
M E T A L W E R X
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio