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Notoriously difficult and incredibly tedious, the process of granulation dates back 5,000 years. Beginning in Sumer, the technique migrated to Egypt, Greece, and Italy— where the Etruscans developed the aesthetic we know today. Despite their 9th century BC revival, granulation's secrets were lost with time. We didn’t see a resurgence until the 1800’s when solder was used to achieve the look; and, the complete chemical process wasn't understood until WWII.
Granulation involves creating snippets of gold, usually 22k, and applying extreme heat to form spheres. Those spheres are affixed to a surface using either fusion, a dissolving chemical mixture, or with solder. The above featured jewelers Loren Teetelli and Jack & Elizabeth Gualtieri are exceptional modern artists extensively using granulation in their designs.