Many people are captivated by the stunning properties of dichroic glass - the way the colors and reflection shift as they catch the light from different angles and the way the depth makes it appear as though you can see into it for miles. Each item is carefully cut from two or more layers of glass, assembled and then fired in a kiln. It is an exciting moment when the pieces are removed from the kiln to see how a few pieces of glass have fused together and transformed into a single sparkling pool of shifting color. In most cases, pieces are removed from the kiln and refined and then refired. Many pieces go through multiple firings as new layers are added, so the creation of beautiful dichroic glass pieces is a time-consuming process. Click here for more about the glass.
Classes: I teach periodic dichroic glass fusing classes in Jacksonville, Florida. Please click here for more class info.
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Dichroic: di(two) chro (colors)
Dichroic glass jewerly starts with individual sheets of glass, treated at the factory with a special reflective coating. This coating causes the glass to appear as two or more different colors as it is shifted in the light . Dichroic glass generally transmits one color and reflects another. On clear glass, you see the transmitted color when you look through the glass and the reflected color when the glass is held at an angle that causes light to be reflected from it.
The pieces begin as several pieces of glass which are cut, shaped, stacked and glued into place. They are usually stacked in either two or three layers. The glass is placed on a shelf and fired in a kiln. During the firing process, the layers are fused together into one solid piece of glass. The pieces are cooled and then the edges and shapes are refined. In some cases, more layers of glass are added and refired. After final shaping, the glass is fired one last time to polish the edges and to anneal the glass (a process of heating and cooling the glass in a controlled manner to strengthen it).