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Granulation - The proper way


#1

Nina,

I don’t have years of experience as many on the list do, but
I have had great luck with the method I was taught. I use a
charcoal block (I reserve one side of the block for this
use). I use the rounded end of an artist’s paintbrush to
punch small indentions in the charcoal block. Because the
profile of the paint brush is rounded, you get perfect little
round-bottom chambers for each of your granules. Try not to
make these too deep or too shallow (hard to explain - like
Goldilocks said, “just right”) The next trick is to hit them
with the flame until you see them jump up into a little ball
(here is where you will know if your little chambers are too
shallow). It looks kind of animated (also hard to explain,
but you will know it when you see it). Remove the heat as
soon as this happens, and viola, you get perfect little
granules. If you are having trouble getting them to this
point, you either have your flame wrong, or the chambers are
just too deep. About the flat spot; personally, I wouldn’t
want any of my granules to have flat spots. It ruins the
effect of granulation. The idea is to get that tiny little
contact point that allows you to created the image that
those little spheres are just perfectly balanced there. They
look delicate and magical that way. Oh, and I use a solution
of cupric hydroxide, hide glue and distilled water to mount
the granules. Be really neat here because wherever the
solution goes, you will change the surface of your piece (the
addition of the copper or cupric hydroxide forms an alloy
when you get to the flash point and will cause some surface
distortion) So, be extremely neat when it comes to applying
the granules with this stuff. Now, I hope someone with the
years of experience I lack will jump in and help us out here.

Laura