Is there anyone out in this wonderful community who would be willing
to sell a newbie a very small number of 22/24k and Fine Silver
granulation beads for a PMC experiment? By small I mean around 10 -
20. I’d hate to pay a fortune at SPM only to discover my idea
Lora, I have no experience with PMC, but metal is metal, so you
probably could use a torch to ball up scraps or crumbles of PMC in
order to make a small number of granules. Ten to 20 granules will
not go very far for experimenting, so you might consider making your
own granules from wire. Clip 26, 28, or 30-gauge fine silver or
gold wire into small pieces, spread them on a soldering board or
charcoal block, and torch heat to ball up the metal. Also, what
would happen if you made head pins (ball up the end of a piece of
wire) and pushed the stem into the PMC?
Maybe someone knows how Keiko Mita (2002 Saul Bell design award)
attached silver balls to her pin. See photo on page 10 of the Rio
Grande, Gem & Findings catalog.
I have made thousands of both silver and gold granules from wire
snippets, and can attest that purchasing granules from SPM is a
merciful bargain if you can use large numbers of granules.
Given how incredibly easy they are to make, you might want to
consider just making your own. I do my own by making jump rings of
the “right” size (that way, each bead is the same size after
melting). I place the jump rings on a soft charcoal block, then hit
them with a torch until they bead up. Let them cool and you have a
wonderful round sphere.
The “right” way to do it is to have the block up on a platform
fairly high and at a slight tilt, with a pickle pot on the floor
underneath the tilt. As you hit the rings and they ball up, then then
run off the block, cool through the air into a perfect sphere, then
"freeze" when they hit the pickle. In practice, it’s just as
practical to make them using the charcoal block without the
tilt-and-pour if it’s a nice soft block - there is no appreciable
flattening of the balls that I can see and you don’t lose any to
"misses" on the way down.
If you DO decide to buy them, you’ll need to specify size (usually
in mm diameters), as granulation can be done in anything from
extremely tiny to quite “large” (relatively speaking – 3mm diameter)