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Silver granulation


#1

Hi David, Although John Paul Miller did indeed do granulation before
Jean Stark, as far as I understand he did not teach it to many
people.

My father, Robert Kulicke experimented with and worked out a
teachable technique for doing granulation during the 1960’s. He then
taught it to students at his school, originally called the Kulicke
Cloisonne Workshop. Bob is very enthusiastic and taught granulation
to anyone who would listen. His policy was to hold nothing back,
teach all you know.

After getting together with Jean Stark they became more involved
with jewelry making and teaching granulation. My (then) husband
Joseph English and I became their apprentices. Bob and Jean opened the
Kulicke-Stark Academy of Jewelry Art(1972), with 6 of us teaching
granulation.

Bob Kulicke had a vision to introduce modern jewelers to the ancient
jewelry arts that were largely being ignored at the time.

He had a plan to change the modern jewelry industry, to upgrade the
jewelry being produced, by giving jewelers a sense of history

I believe it is correct that most people doing granulation today
were taught at, or by someone who went to the Kulicke-Stark Academy.

When I look in jewelry galleries and magazines, at web sites, I see
that Bob’s plan has worked wonderfully. I love to see all the
imaginative ways jewelers are using granulation today.

Bob Kulicke has always been a painter primarily and his paintings
are better than ever. He is now 76, living in NYC.

He always says that his jewelry students have way surpassed him with
their granulation skills, which was exactly his plan.

Regards,
Fredricka Kulicke

http://kulickejewelryschool.com/
http://www.fredrickakulicke.com/


#2

Hi David! Actually, there were others in England and Germany before
John Paul Miller but he was certainly the most visible first in this
country, and in my opinion he is the best, and deserves whatever
accolade anyone wants to bestow on him. His work is continually
breathtaking and beautiful, and his granulation is superb and
various. His work is unique and has always been an inspiration.

However, what I always heard from the very beginning of my jewelry
life (incidentally my first experience with metalworking was silver
granulation) was that JPM did not teach his techniques, either
personally or in articles. His stated philosophy was that everyone
who was interested should develop his own methods. This was second
or third hand which came from what I considered
reliable sources. On the other hand there is a section in Oppi
Untracht’s book where he describes a process for granulating (that I
have not yet tried), I know he did give occasional workshops and
that he taught at the Cleveland Institute for many years. One would
think that his curriculum must have included granulation since he
was known as its Master. I have never met anyone or heard of
anyone who did study that process with him. That could simply mean
that I don’t travel in the right circles or that I do not get around
enough, and if there is anyone who has to the contrary I
would appreciate hearing about it. In any case, his granulating
influence and fame seems to have come mainly from his work which did
introduce the technique to this country.

I would not claim to have been solely responsible for reviving
granulation but I do believe that by developing and teaching the
technique in the school that I founded with Robert Kulicke, and
around the country in workshops for the past thirty plus years, that
we were responsible for making granulation a modern technique that
is now at least recognized by almost all contemporary goldsmiths and
used by many. When we started in 1970, no one was teaching
granulation. There was very little published and no
instructions on how it was done. We developed the technique we use
for adhereing and firing the granules and we taught it to the many
students who studied at the school. One of the biggest problems we
had in trying to make this a twentieth century technique was the
production of granules, because the sensibility and practical
aspects of our era created frustration at the time-consuming process
of making granules. It was when we discovered quite by chance that
our refiner was making tiny fine silver balls by the millions for
the electronics industry, and I talked him into making granules in
our 22k alloy, that we knew the technique could be used even by
those with 20th century impatience and would spread throughout the
contemporary jewelry world. So I think it could be more correctly
said, that I have played a substantial role in the revival and
acceptance of granulation as a respected modern goldsmithing
technique through the research and redevelopment, through teaching
and through the use of it in almost all of my work.

I think the other questions that have appeared in this thread, like
the source for granules and the sources for instructions, have been
answered but I will be happy to add my and opinions if
anyone needs it. I do have three granulation workshops on my
schedule for 2002. If anyone is interested they can contact me
personally for the dates and other pertinent

Anyway, David, this is the view from where I sit.

Jean Stark


#3

Hello Jean, Fredericka, and others interested in the history of
granulation. I am dismayed to hear once more that there was (is) an
opinion among some (albeit not first-hand), that John Paul Miller
did not teach granulation…or did so only to a few people. In
fact, this misconception was actually printed in Blauer’s book on
Contemporary Jewelry, and not very nicely at that. I have never
bought the book for that reason.

I was a student of JPM in the early 1980’s at the Cleveland
Institute of Art, where I learned the technique from him. In a class
of several people, I happened to be the only student who was
interested, the others being of the more “avant garde” persuasion. I
learned silver and gold granulation, asked all questions that I had,
and no answers were every withheld. Such has been the case for the
past 20 years, during which time I have been in close touch with
JPM, and call him if and when I need technical advice, which he
gladly gives. He is a kind and gentle man, and I agree, is the
best, most creative and should be recognized by the jewelry arts
community as a pioneer in this country for the technique.

I also attended the Jewelry Arts Academy, where I first heard this
false rumor. I was shocked. When it appeared in print, Mr. Miller
was also surprised and dismayed, but is a very private person and
did not want to become involved in a controversy. He was never the
type to seek notoriety for being “first”…he was simply fascinated
with the technique after seeing the work of Eleanor Treskow in
Germany and wanted to know more about its history and execution. He
is an artist and wants to do his work in peace. If he ever withheld
any technical from those he did not know, at a time when
he was experimenting and perfecting technique, I am not party to.
All I know is that a number of very prominent goldsmiths (including
John Marshall) learned from him and went on to teach. The work of
his students is distinctive, fine and obviously the result of having
been taught by a master. As you state, Oppi Untracht’s book contains
a technical explanation of granulation by Mr.Miller.

As we all know, granulation, as well as most other metalsmithing
techniques are ancient in origin. Their execution,“discovery”,
etc. belongs to no one. There seems to be little recognition
moreover, that the technique never “died” in Asia…reflective of
our narrow-minded vision of the world.

I hope that it may go on record, for those who will not have the
privilege of knowing John Paul Miller who is in his 80’s (and still
working), that he is not only a superb artist, but a dedicated
teacher and wonderful person.

Elizabeth McDevitt


#4
    the source for granules and the sources for instructions, have
been answered but I will be happy to add my and
opinions if anyone needs it. 

Dear Jean, I would like to hear your opinions and information
regarding granule suppliers and making them oneself. I like the
uneveness of size that results from making my own granules for some
projects, but for the smaller size granules the difference in size
is more noticeable and less appealing. It is also very disappointing
to discover, after firing them on a charcoal block, just how small an
amount of granules I wind up with. It is a very time consuming
process, and I don’t have the time!

Gail Middleton


#5

Hello Fredricka; Thank you for your reply. That was very
informative. I had known that John Paul Miller had never been
perticularly forthright concerning the perticulars of his technique
at one time. By the time I met him, he was more talkative. I
learned a lot from him back in 1989 when he visited Southern Illinois
University in Carbondale where I was a graduate metals student. One
of my fellow students at the time, Doug Harling, was doing a lot of
research on it and I picked up a lot from him, although I seldom use
it in my own work. I believe Miller’s interest in granulation came
about as a result of his interest in enameling. Seems he needed to
construct his articles without having the problems associated with
solder contaminating the enamels, as well as it’s melting temperature
being relatively low in relationship to hard enamels. I’ve always
had a great respect and gratitude for the pioneers in our field of
endeavor, and henceforth, I will consider Jean and your father, as
well as yourself among them. Perhaps you could direct us to books or
web sites where we could view your work and theirs.

Respectfully,
David L. Huffman


#6

Hello Jean;

Nice to finally meet you, as I’m sure you and I have a great many
contacts and friends in common in the metalsmithing community.
Fredricka Kulicke’s post nicely rounds out my previously limited
on the origins granulation as it is used by modern
goldsmiths. I’m going to go back through my books and look up some
of the work by yourself and the others mentioned. And I’d like to
personally thank you, as I can safely assume that what was taught in
the Kulicke-Stark school no doubt filtered down to metalsmithing
students like myself. You are correct, I believe, concerning Miller.
I didn’t know him to teach the technique formally. He left a lot of
hints. And of course, I am a great fan of his work.

I have another thread we could investigate too. I remember watching
a Mokume-Gane demonstration put on by Hiroko Sato and Eugene
Pijanowski back in the early seventies when I was one of Phillip
Fike’s students. We were actually making the stuff on a coal forge!
You’d be astounded at how complicated we were making the process.
I’m going to risk that they were the first to bring that technique to
the U.S. and would love to hear other opinions on that. Thanks
again, Jean, for your reply.

Sincerely,
David L. Huffman


#7
    I have another thread we could investigate too.  I remember
watching a Mokume-Gane demonstration put on by Hiroko Sato and
Eugene Pijanowski back in the early seventies when I was one of
Phillip Fike's students.   We were actually making the stuff on a
coal forge! You'd be astounded at how complicated we were making
the process. I'm going to risk that they were the first to bring
that technique to the U.S. and would love to hear other opinions on
that. 

I am afraid that you are wrong about the Pijanowski’s bringing
mokume-gane to the US If you will go to this link
http://www.dia.org/collections/amerart/tiffany/index.html#1985.11
and look at the bottom of the page you will see a Coffeepot made in
Tiffany’s workshop in the 1870’s by a man named Edward C. Moore. I
Had believed the Pijanowski’s had brought the technique to the US
until I was approached to repair a mokume Tiffany ice cream spoon
from the late 1800’s (I did not work on it as it is a rare artifact
and it would greatly reduce its value if anyone tried to "repair"
the defect in the mokume the person was worried about) After that I
started looking for more info about Tiffany mokume and apparently
there was not very much of it made and very little remains. I have
not found anything about their process just some images of some
pieces. If anyone knows more about Tiffany mokume I would love to
hear about it.

Jim
James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau


#8

Hello Elizabeth;

Hello Jean, Fredericka, and others interested in the history of
granulation. I am dismayed to hear once more that there was (is) an
opinion among some (albeit not first-hand), that John Paul Miller
did not teach granulation

Thank you for broadening our perspective on the work and character
of John Paul Miller. I, like others, may have formed my opinion, to
some degree, from what others believed. I met JPM in 1989 or maybe
it was 90 and immediately took a liking to him. He was very generous
with his time as he and I discussed the direction my work was taking.
I never formed a fixed opinion on the issue of whether or not he
shared his on granulation. It was not of great concern
for me. He presented extensive examples of his art in a thorough
synopsis of his life’s work and we all came away with great respect
for the accomplishments of whom we knew to be one of the seminal
artists of our milieu. It must have been a great privilege to have
studied with such a master craftsman and teacher. Thank you for
contributing to our understanding. I feel I now have the best
possible at least as far as this aspect of John Paul
Miller is concerned.

David L. Huffman


#9

Hello Jim;

I thought you might know some history on the Mokume question.
Thanks for the input. It would be interesting to know how Tiffany’s
shop accomplished this, whether they were fusing the layers as is
preferred today or if there was some sort of soldering involved as in
the old “marriage of metals” technique (which I never found
satisfactory).

David L. Huffman


#10

I have found much regarding gold granulation. Any
regarding silver granulation. I am particularly
interested in the attachment of these silver granules to silver.
Thank you for any

Judy


#11

Hello Judy

Take a look in the Tips from the Jewelers Bench

There are a number of good articles here.

Karen Bahr - Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


#12

Hi Judy,

Ronda Coryell has made 2 very good DVDs on granulation using fine
silver: “The Art of Granulation” Volumes 1 and 2. You can see a
description of them in the Rio Grande Tools and Equipment catalog.

Nancy


#13

Judy,

You say silver granulation. I am assuming you mean Sterling Silver.
For a how to article go to:

http://www.lapidaryjournal.com/stepbystep/1098jj_fix.cfm

Have you checked out the chapter on sterling silver granulation, see
"Sterling Granulation" by John Cogswell in Metals Technic, Brynmorgen
Press, 1992 I have DVDs available that teach Fine Silver granulation.
I now work almost exclusively in Argentium Sterling. It fuses like no
metal I have ever seen! I will be lecturing at Rio Grande’s Catalog
in Motion and offering a class there in Tucson in February.

Ronda Coryell
Studio Manager/Instructor
Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts


#14

Dear Judy,

Although I do not work with silver granulation, I have experimented
with it. I have found that the technique I use to granulate on 18K
gold (using cupric carbonate) works just fine for granulating on
silver as well. Perhaps others could correct me on this, but as I
understand it, I do not believe there is a “different” technique for
granulating on silver rather than gold. I think you simply go about
it the same way, whether it is true “fusing” or, in my case, eutectic
bonding. At least, that is what I’ve tried and it has worked out so
far.

Hope that helps!
Erich C. Shoemaker
http://www.erichcdesigns.com