I’ve been reading the thread on “Difficulties with Silver
granulation” and I would like to comment on the advice you’ve
Silver granulation is simple. (I didn’t say easy) You are basically
heating to a slow, controlled, surface flow (melt). This is Fusing.
Granulation is fusing granules to a surface and to each other.
Fine Silver is preferable to sterling. (Yes, there are those who use
sterling) I think sterling is a dreadful metal, sometimes necessary,
but not for granulation.
I was interested to read that hide glue is now new and improved with
nasty chemicals, not good. I guess I haven’t bought any hide glue
recently. The solid hide glue that dissolves in hot water works fine.
As does smelly fish glue and some other glues.
I love the idea of using honey! I’ll try that soon. Honey and Yellow
flux, I love it!
The point of mixing the hide glue with yellow hard solder flux is
this. After drying carefully and placing in kiln, the glue burns
Simultaneously, the flux melts and takes over holding the granules.
It’s a wonderful thing. This is how one can granulate on a curved
surface or bead. If the granules move or fall off after the glue
burns away, you need to add more flux to the mix.
I start with 8 parts filtered (Brita) water (North NJ has hard
water) and 1 part flux, 1 part glue. I might have to tinker with the
mixture until the granules hold tight.
Use the smallest amount of glue that does the trick. Try to keep the
sheet around the granule design glue free. I mop up around the
granules with a damp rinsed brush. Too much glue/flux mixture and the
whole thing puffs up in the hot kiln.
Any type of copper mixture or copper plating of granules is totally
unnecessary for silver granulation. Gold is another story.
Clean Fine silver flows readily when heated slowly and gently to
The backsheet should be thin, we use .011.
Thicker sheet is possible but takes more skill. When necessary I
sweat solder the finished granulation to a thicker sheet.
Your granules are fusing to each other but not the backsheet because
they got hot first and fused together before the back got hot. You
have to heat slowly and let the sheet around and below the granules
reach the same temp at the same time as the granules. Similar to
soldering. You have to heat the larger piece more so it gets hot at
the same time as the smaller piece and the solder flows to both,
Granulating in the kiln helps enormously to heat top and bottom
evenly. Just using a torch is possible but again requires more skill
I hope I’ve clarified and demystified things somewhat. Good luck.
Fredricka Kulicke School of Jewelry Art
239 New Road, Suite B 101
Parsippany, NJ 07054