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Wire Granulation


my name is Hanan and I am a jewelry designer and i would like to ask
about granoletion teknik , to granolate a wire that is 0.6mm I make a
mix of fish glue and CuSO4 but how mach % of each?

hope someone can help me…

thanks …Hanan.



It would be a small amount of CuSO4, but there are other methods,
see links.


I suspect that this response might generate some controversy, but
here goes anyway.

Instead of fish glue I use cheap hair spray. It helps keep the balls
where I want them and yet is a very clean source of organic carbon.
The same should also hold true for wire because I use it to stick
wire patterns onto sterling prior to enamelling. Fish glue was fine
for the artisans in the past because that is all they had. Any
source of organic carbon should work.

I also use copper carbonate (basic) that I make by adding baking
soda to very well used pickle for cleaning fire scale from heated
copper. Once the precipitate has been created I add household
ammonia so that it turns from blue to green. I rinse the precipate
three times and filter with coffee filters. It takes about three
days to get a batch. My batch lasts a long time and is a lot cheaper
than buying a kilo of the stuff.

I use sterling silver (7.5% Cu). I heat the base and distributed
granules with MAP gas with the nozzle blocked for air; it still
generates a very hot flame. I use just enough copper carbonate to
cover the surface and no more. I have also used the same technique
to fuse sterling chips, saved from engravings for pit enamelling
(champleve), to a sterling surface.

Why use this method? Because it is my understanding that granulation
works best under a reducing atmosphere which can be obtained by
having a carbon dioxide-rich atmoshere over the metal. After reading
the Orchid archives I’m no longer clear about the theory of how the
copper contributes to the fusing because there appears to me to be
two competing theories, and I no longer have the use of a scanning
electron micruscope fitted with an energy dispersive spectrometer to
examine how the reduced copper is dispersed.

In short, I have found that a good spritz of hairspray plus just
enough CuCO3.Cu(OH2)2 (not CuSO4) to cover the piece. I have found
the tough part is having enough guts to watch the stuff sweat just
enough before it all fuses into useless lump.

My source is John Cogswell (1980) Sterling Granulation, in Metals
Technic pp 3-13.

Hope this helps.

ps And to any of you who read my plea generated from shear panic
from what I had just read, I was able to take the course. And
without doubt it was one of the three most interesting and
enlightening courses that I have ever taken, and I have taken many,
many courses. Thank you Charles.

Hi Hanan,

I use 10 drops of distilled H2O, 2 drops of flux, and one drop of
organic glue.

Love and God Bless

Hi Hanan,

There are several links to granulation instructions and projects on
my Web Page. Click on Granulation Links at

There are also some great pictures of gold granulation from Jean
Stark, John Paul Jones, Carolyn Tylor and others. There is a project
on silver granulation from Sandra Buchholz.

24 Kt. Gold Granulation:
I took a class from Jean Stark, and the method we used was to put the
granules or wire in a small copper dish, filled with used pickle. Put
in a steel rod for a minute or so, and the granules will become
copper coated. We made the copper dish out of a 2"x2" piece of copper
that we domed using the biggest hole in the doming block.

Then we placed the granules on the piece using a small paint brush
dipped in the mixture of 10 drops water, 1 drop Hide Glue, 2 drops
Batten Flux.

Fine Silver Granulation:
Same as above, but skip the step for copper, not needed.

If you find more links to Granulation , please send them to me and
I’ll add them to my collection.

If anyone has links to works of other Granulation Artists, I’d love
to include them if you will send them to me.

Love and God Bless