Emory University student Emily Farek investigated the ancient technique of gold granulation. She examined Carlos Museum objects and considered the chemistry that enables this process. She also participated in a demonstration of the technique conducted by jewelry artist and gemologist Kathy Kinev.
Granulation relies upon surface tension and the addition of a solute to a solution. These general chemistry concepts explain how ancient artists created such delicate and spectacular objects.
This is part of the Science of Art series that explores concepts taught in Emory's general chemistry classes through case studies featuring objects and conservation projects from the Carlos Museum.