Gold granulation

I have a question! :slight_smile: I have been studying the work of Kent Raible.
He is my hero! I wonder how to do the granulation techinque? From
what I have gathered it involves a sheet of gold and granulated
gold. Does anyone have suggestions on books and resources to use to
learn about this techinque? I thank you! Maureen

Hi Maureen, Check out the Lapidary Journal website. Here’s a link: It describes how to
make silver earrings with a granulated design. I know your question
was about gold granulation but I would imagine there may be

Dan T.

Hi Maureen- I wrote the article on Fine Silver Granulation that is
on the Lapidary website, and will be happy to answer any questions
you may have. There are some differences between Gold and Silver
granulation. When working with Gold, it is best to use 22 Karat
Gold. The granules have to be coated with copper in order to help
them to fuse more easily. (I think there was a thread on this on
Orchid, and you will be able to find it in the Archives.) I believe
some people use other substances, but I have only used copper in the
following manner: make a small dish out of 24 or even 26 gauge
copper. Put the gold granules in along with some curled up copper
wire and hot pickle. Stir them around with copper tongs until they
are coated, then remove them from the pickle and rinse them in clear

Secondly, when working with Gold, the back of the base piece does
not need to be coated with ochre as it does in Silver. At the
moment I can’t think of any other differences, but if you have any
questions, please ask.

At the end of the article in Lapidary, I made reference to an
excellent description of Gold granulation by Cecelia Bauer in the
’96-97 issue of the Hoover and Strong Catalogue. I could not find
that article on their Website and I don’t know if there is any way
of obtaining back catalogues.

You can see some pictures of my Gold and Silver Granulation, on my
webpage. Go to, scroll to the bottom
of the page and click on the link to ElegantInsects Gold and Silver

I hope this is helpful. Sincerely Sandra

I thought I’d add a few more details to the process of preparing
gold granules for granulation, as described by Sandra (Sandra and I
both attended Cecelia Bauer’s classes).

Before placing anything in the copper dish, place it over your kiln
(you need to use a beehive kiln for this) until it becomes oxidized.
Remove the dish from the kiln and let it cool completely. Then add
some pickle (we have always used Sparex, I do not know whether other
pickling compounds would also work), your granules, and some coiled
up iron binding wire (the iron is what will cause the copper oxides
suspended in the pickle to adhere to the granules). Place the dish
on a wire screen, and put the whole thing back on the kiln. Using a
pair of tweezers, rub the wire all over the granules, you will see
them turn from gold to pinkish brown. Remove the dish from the kiln
and allow to cool, them remove the granules and rinse them in water.
The granules are now ready to use for granulation.

I believe that Sandra’s article in Lapidary journal describes the
process of gluing the granules to a backsheet, as well as how to dry
the piece before firing. When you fire a gold piece with granules,
it is very different from a silver piece. With silver, you are
trying to get the backsheet to “flow” (i.e., to melt slightly on
the surface, which will fuse with the granules). With gold, you
heat the piece until you see the gold granules become bright gold
again (indicating that the copper coating has burned off of the
surface of the granule, leaving a very small bond at the point of
contact between the granule and the backsheet).

I hope this helps.
Neda Nassiri

Is the gold sheet coated with ocre as the silver sheet? I have been
coating the gold sheet and there have been problems for me. Then
again, maybe it’s just me. Catherine

The gold sheet does not need to be covered with ochre. Sandra