Granulation and gum tragacanth

Can anyone recommend a good source for purchasing gum tragacanth?
I am looking for a good granulation recipe which calls for gum
tragacanth in place of hide glue.

Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio

Any major art supply should have it (for making soft pastels by
hand), as should suppliers to hand bookbinders and paper marblers.
Best to mix in warm distilled water (I prefer 145 F) – it’s not
always easily dissolved.

Here are two artist’s pigment/resin supply houses that will gladly
sell and ship small amounts:

	Kremer Pigments Inc.
	228 Elizabeth Street
	New York NY 10012
	Tel.: 1-800-995-5501 or (212) 219 2394
	Fax : (212) 219 2395

(Product Guide, Glues, about halfway down the page)

David Barnett

You can get trag from Scheifler’s Enamels. Coral is a gem to do
business with. Also, you might want to try lily root powder. It is
used for securing cloisonn=E9 wires and I can’t see any reason why it
wouldn’t work for granulation.

Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.


I got mine at the local chemical store, It is Regent.

Lloyd Butterfield.

Hi Karen,

Found this on the web

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160
Member of the Better Business Bureau

Karen, I get my powdered gum tragacanth from Daniel Smith in
Seattle. I don’t have a catalog any more nor the address.

Donna in VA


You can find gum tragacanth on-line from at 2
ounces for 6.50.

Best Wishes,
Genevieve Hunt

In the New Bedford where today it was so crystal clear that we could
see to the Vineyard!

Got mine at the local drug store…Seems it is used to make some
pastes and homeopathic remedies. Ask the druggist for it.


Karen, You asked about recipes for gum tragacanth. I like the one
suggested by Philip Morton in “Contemporary Jewelry”.

Contemporary Jewelry: A Studio Handbook By Philip Morton

Media: Hardcover
Manufacturer : Henry Holt & Co
Release data : 01 June, 1976

He says,

  "Add one heaping tablespoon of powdered gum tragacanth to a
  quart of distilled water.  To do this, sieve the power through
  a kitchen sieve to break up the lumps, then make a paste with a
  small amount of water before adding the rest of the water. 
  Stir well to break up lumps.  Now bring the solution slowly to
  a boil, while stirring and working out all lumps.  Strain the
  solution through a double thickness of old nylon stockings
  placed in the sieve, and store it in a quart bottle with a
  tight lid.  This is a concentrated solution.  To mix a 1-to-20
  ratio solution, measure out 1 teaspoon of concentrate to 20
  teaspoons of distilled water, and mix well." 

I cut this recipe down to one cup, because one quart of glue is too
much volume when you only use 10 or so drops of glue per project.
This glue stores well and does not seem to get moldy as does hide


1 Like

I never heard of lilly root powder. Does it work like Klyr fire?
How do you work with the product? Ok, you’ve got my attention!

Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio

I prefer to use the powdered form of gum tragacanth instead of the
flake form, as with the powdered form , all one has to do is mix a
small amount with cold water—no boiling, no straining, no fuss.
A tiny little bit goes a long way. Start with just a pinch
(about 1/8th of a teaspoon, mix with about a teaspoon of water and
and go from there, making it thicker or thinner. Be sure to mix
only as much as you will be using at one time as it does not keep.
It gets sour and smelly. It can however be preserved by mixing in a
few drops of carbolic acid. Carbolic acid used to be easy to obtain
as it was used to disinfect everything, from stables, to sick rooms,
old bed springs, or what have you and could be found at any
hardware store. Times have changed, and now where I live, it can
only be purchased at the pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription. My
doctor provided me with a prescription after I explained what I was
going to use it for and then a very suspicious pharmacist wanted to
know what I was going to do with it. Good gracious, what would one do
with it other than use it as a disinfectant.??. You may not have
these restrictions in your state. Hope this helps.


   I never heard of lilly root powder.  Does it work like Klyr
fire? How do you work with the product?  Ok, you've got my

Lily root is another alternative to klyr-fire. It is in powder form
and you just mix it with water. Pretty much same as klyr-fire. It
burns off in the firing process. I have some but since my kiln is
still in its crate (haven’t found a good place for it in my new
apartment here in Bangkok) I haven’t been doing any enamelling as of
late. I originally bought it to replace klyr-fire since I was
unhappy with my results using the product.

But seriously, you should give Coral a call. I mistakenly said that
she was with Scheiflers (sp?) - she is the wonder who runs
Enamelwork Supply in Seattle. (206-525-9271)


Karen, lily root powder is a light brown powdered organic, that when
mixed with a little water, turns into a gelatin like substance.
Harlan Butt turned me onto it at a 3D enameling workshop. We used it
to adhere cloisonne wires on dimensional pieces that had a fired flux
coat on them and then fired. I would think that it would work quite
well with granulation. I don’t know if Coral at Enamelworks sells it,
but I do believe the Enamel Emporium (not sure if that’s the name) in
Texas carries it.

Lisa Hawthorne

1 Like

Trade secret!

Good old fashioned horse glue works best - but it smells! Remember
how granddad used a heated pot and used it for woodworking? Just
dilute it right down.