FAQ / Learning Page

What is Dichro?

Dichroic Glass is a multi layer coating placed on glass by only a very few manufacturers. Quartz crystal and metal oxides are vaporized with an electron beam gun in an airless vacuum chamber and the vapor then floats upward and condenses on the surface of the glass in the form of a crystal structure. Dichroic glass sheets may have as many as 30 layers of these materials yet the thickness of the total coating is about 35 millionths of an inch.  The equipment required to produce dichroic glass is high tech and expensive, making the glass itself something that not all glass artists are comfortable experimenting with.

Most Dichroic Glass is produced either on a black or a clear substrate glass, and glasses of various textures. Custom orders can be made to have dichroic coatings applied to almost any type or color of glass – even sculptural pieces after they are formed.

Dichroic Glass has a transmitted color and a completely different reflective color.  The colors constantly shift depending on the angle of view and lighting, giving it beauty, life and warmth.

Not only does dichroic glass make unusual, colorful and just plain awesome jewelry, it fuses beautifully into bowls,  platters and pieces of art that will add beauty to your home.  A gift of Dichroic Glass will forever be remembered as that one of kind piece no one else will ever have.

Examples of Dichroic Glass

Dichroic Glass comes in a myriad of colors and patterns, and patterns on top of patterns.  Below are just a few examples of dichroic glass that I use in my art.  The rounds you see are the native state of dichroic glass.  All the glasses below start out as 19″ round pieces of glass before being coated, and the cost of a coated sheet will start at at a low of about $150 and go up depending on the glass coated and the type of coating.

 

dichro 1 dichro 2 dichro 3 dichro 4 dichro 5 p dichro 1 pdichro 2 pdichro 3 pdichro 4 pdichro 5

 About Glass Fusing

For those of you who are new to glass work, I’d like to provide a few resources for you to check out to help you learn about this fabulous art and its artists.

Glass Fusing is my passion.  I started out by learning lampworking (see below) but felt limited by my non-existent drawing skills.  Decorating a bead is much like drawing on a canvas – something I never had the talent to do.  So…..I looked to glass fusing. It didn’t take more than an afternoon at Village Glass Works.  I immediately ordered my very first kiln.

Fusing glass entails layering different colors, patterns, textures and shapes of glass, then kiln firing them till they become one piece of glass.  Along the way, you may incorporate frits (crushed glass of different coarseness), stringers (thin spaghetti shaped glass), noodles (flattened stringers), metals, enamels, even organic matter.  Two of my favorite types of glass are irridized and, of course, dichroic.  They bring unparalleled color to the party and make every piece exciting.  Cover a piece of glass with a clear top layer, and you change the final product.  Re-fire a fused piece of glass over a mold and you create a plate, bowl, candle holder, relish tray, flower vase  –  there’s no limit but your imagination.  Fused glass is elegant, beautiful and begs to be picked up and touched.

Since different glasses are not necessarily compatible when fused (or worked over a torch, for that matter), usually special glasses are used that have been tested to be compatible.  (Non-compatible glasses may melt together, but as they cool, the stress will cause the finished product to break – sometimes dramatically.)
 
New products are being released every day for the kiln worker – new glasses, new techniques, and better equipment.  The first, best resource for a budding glass fuser is Warm Glass.com. There’s a gallery for inspiration, resources for supplies and glass, and a bulletin board full of tips, help, and guidance.  Be sure to navigate over to warmtips.com/ and read all the tips and tricks.
 
I hope you enjoy my fused glass creations as much as I enjoyed making them!