GRANULATION - One of the Oldest Jewelry Enhancement Technique
Updated: Apr 10, 2021
The granulation technique is a type of decoration in which tiny dots, scrolls and lines of gold or silver are applied to a surface of jewelry to decorate the pieces.
First used as early as the 3rd-millennium bc, it was known in western Asia and Egypt. The technique has been used practiced by the ancient Greeks, especially immediately following the Mycenaean Age, achieved an amazing fineness and could produce a texture of great richness.
Granulation was spread widely in southern Asia, particularly in India and Persia, through contact with the Roman Empire.
Ozay uses the ancient technique of granulation in many of its designs to make unique and attractive pieces.
The granulation process begins with the creation of the tiny spheres to be utilized in decorating the piece’s surface. To create these tiny spheres, a sheet of metal is rolled out very thin and cut into tiny 1 mm square pieces.
Today, I will share with you a technique that recycles bits of silver clay paper into fine silver granules which can be used to replicate the ancient granulation technique used by Etruscan and Greek silversmith.
What you need to do it
■ Metal clay paper
Tools & supplies :
■ Pencil and ruler (optional)
■ Firebrick or soldering pad
■ Butane torch, with butane
■ Container with lid
Cut the metal clay paper scraps. Using scissors, cut your leftover metal clay scraps into 3 mm (1 ⁄8-in.) pieces .
NOTE: You can cut a whole sheet of metal clay paper into equal pieces to create precisely sized granules. Use a ruler and pencil to create a grid on the full sheet, then cut out the squares.
Place the paper pieces on a firebrick. Use tweezers to place the scraps of metal clay paper on a firebrick . Arrange the scraps in an orderly grid pattern and leave space between them .
Form the metal granules. Light your torch and adjust it to produce a bushy flame rather than a fine point. Keep the flame directed toward one scrap of metal clay paper just until the paper forms a ball, then immediately move on to the next scrap. Work your way through the scraps, balling up one at a time .
NOTE: Start by heating the scrap at the top right-hand corner of your firebrick and work down the column. Then, move to the scrap at the bottom of the next column to the left and work your way up. The goal is to never heat the same scrap twice.
The scrap will form perfect balls.
In traditional granulation, granules are used to create or shapes
as an accent to the jewelry piece. When used in metal clay designs,
the same principle applies, but you can be much more freeform in
your design process. .