Hi all - Have been reading this thread with great interest &
have decided to throw in my comments - altho I have to say, I'm
fairly new at granulation, but am really interested in it.
My first experience w/ this was about 5 yrs. ago - I was taught
the roll the silver off the charcoal block into a tub of water
method -- which I just hate -- the balls roll everywhere,
especially as the block gets its own little gullies in it.
Sometimes they get stuck in the gullies. If the tub is not deep
enough or the block not high enough, the balls are flat on one
side or look rather sausge shaped (?) Yuck! We made sterling
silver granules and fused them to the surface of sterling silver.
Most didn't stick - pretty ugly, really.
Took a class from Doug Harling this past summer and learned a
lot - fascinating type of work and it really goes way beyond
the concept of putting little balls on top of flat metal. As
samples in the class, I used the technique of granulation to set
cloisonne wires for enamelling (no need of the flux layer), fused
granules and wire shapes to a piece of reticulated silver as well
as to a piece of jewelry I had had cast in fine silver, and
fabricated and decorated a very small round box (that was an
unreal experience !!!) I really like to enamel and having the
ability to fabricate to some degree without solder appeals to me
We used the technique of creating round holes in the charcoal
block and putting the wire snippets in them & torching them until
they jumped around in the holes - I think it's a pretty tedious
way of doing this, but my block seems to last much longer than
when I used to roll the metal down the block. When I get my own
kiln (soon I hope) I want to try that method - it sounds like it
would give you the best opportunity to do a lot of granules all
As for the copper in the mix - we used a mix of copper sulfate,
hide glue, and water, with a tiny tiny bit of welder's flux.
Also tried some of the copper coating the granules method, but I
didn't find the results to be especially consistent and I felt
like they scated around on the surface right at the flashpoint
moment far more often.
I also learned that it is very important to know the alloys that
you are working with - especially from the standpoint of their
melting temps as well as the content. Well anyway - that's my
contribution for the moment. (The Mariner's won a couple of
hours ago now and I need to get some sleep). See you later -