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What is Dichroic Glass?
I love Dichroic Glass. It is unique. It is beautiful. It goes with everything and anything. I love it almost as much as I do faceted gems and semi-precious cabochons. It is as easy to work with as it is beautiful. Because of the unique, colorful and beautiful nature of fused Dichroic Glass, it often becomes the focal point of the jewelry in which it is lovingly placed.
As an artisan that uses fused Dichroic Glass in my creations, I am often asked, “What is Dichroic Glass?” This is a hard question for me to answer as it is created using a highly scientific process that began in the late 1880’s. Because it is such a technical process, it is difficult for the artist in me to explain. So, I will quote the Coatings By Sandberg (CBS) website http://www.cbs-dichroic.com.
“Dichroic Glass is a multilayer coating placed on glass by using a highly technical vacuum deposition process. Quartz Crystal and Metal Oxides are Vaporized with an electron beam gun in an airless vacuum chamber and the vapor then floats upward and attaches then condenses on the surface of the glass in the form of a crystal structure. Our colors have as many as 30 layers of these materials yet the thickness of the total coating is approximately 35 millionths of an inch. The coating that is created is very similar to a gemstone and by careful control in thickness, different colors are obtained. Thus, all our coatings are created using the exact same materials. Originally created for the Aerospace industry, Dichroic Glass is now made available to the artist community through Coatings by Sandberg, Inc. CBS Dichroic Glass is specifically designed to be hotworked in any way but can also be used in its raw form. The main characteristic of Dichroic Glass is that it has a transmitted color and a completely different reflective color. Furthermore, these two colors shift depending on the angle of view. With the play of light together with its vibrant color, Dichroic Glass is a prime tool used to add interest to any piece of work or project. With over 45 Colors of Dichroic Coatings available to be placed on “any” substrate (i.e., glass), artists have unlimited freedom of expression.”
Wow! Is this ever true! I had the privilege of a tour at the CBS manufacturing facility. I not only was allowed to see the process of the coating as it was happening, I also got to see all the different colors of glass and patterns available! The staff (many of them family members) was knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. They gave me a quick inservice on how to fuse the glass and let me buy some sample packs.
Probably my favorite thing about my visit to the CBS, Inc. facility was seeing their “Mini Museum.” Artists from all over have sent their Dichroic Glass projects back to CBS, Inc to say, “Look what I did with your awesome glass!” The body of work is incredible and well worth a trip to Orange County, California to see it. The folks at CBS, Inc. are continually developing new products, teaching artists how to use their products and hold fusing, glass blowing, etching and many other skill developing classes.
No wonder Dichroic Glass is so awesome! I love the way the cabs pick up the light and reflect it or let it pass through the glass. So many colors! Such vibrancy! It is really great.
I spent the summer making a new collection of jewelry: The Texas Ladies, which utilizes Dichroic Glass cabochons as focal points.
The Texas Ladies will be making their debut later this week, but you can see the new pieces on my website, https://www.cjsjewelrycreations.com Dash over there to check out the promotion!
As always, thanks for your time and for learning a little bit about Dichroic Glass with me today. You make my life so much fun. I really appreciate each of you!