What is Dichroic Glass?

From wikipedia:

The brilliant dichroic optical properties of dichroic glass are the result of multiple micro-layers of metal oxides. These thin layers of oxides have a total thickness of three to five millionths of an inch.

NASA developed dichroic glass for use in satellite mirrors. Multiple ultra-thin layers of different metal oxides (gold, silver, titanium, chromium, aluminium, zirconium, magnesium, silicon) are evaporated on to the surface of the glass in a vacuum chamber.

The resulting plate of dichroic glass can then be fused with other glass in multiple firings. Certain wavelengths of light will either pass through or be reflected, causing an array of colour to be visible. Due to variations in the firing process, individual results can never be exactly reproduced; each piece of fused dichroic glass is unique.

Barrettes and Jewlery

The "cool" glass button in my bracelet kit was, in fact, dichroic glass. While it can be worked into beads in the flame, I learned techniques of fusing to piece together different colors, patterns and layers to make buttons, barrettes and jewelry.

tiny pieces of dichroic glass fitted together to make a barrette dichroic glass barrette
dichroic glass earringsdichro earrings

Tricky Photography

This looks pretty good here, but remember from the wiki definition: light reflects off the coatings in dichroic glass in such a way that the colors change as the light shifts. It is impossible to photograph dichroic glass and show those changing colors. I've been stalling on trying to put up a "store" of my work because each piece is one-of-a-kind and as soon as a piece would sell I'd be having to rebuild the site and I'd really rather spend my time melting glass than photographing it. I decided to post images of some samples, and palletes of colors and patterns and let people order a custom made piece of jewelry.

Interested? Proceed to my "store"....

Barb Ackemann

Brattleboro, Vermont

barb@irisbeads.com
802.257.7391