Q: How is dichroic glass made?
"Dichroic" is defined as the property of having more than one color, especially when viewed from different angles. Dichroic Glass
is produced by a process called "thin film physics." Hand-rolled sheet glass is fastened to the top of a vacuum chamber. The chamber is heated to approximately 300 degrees, and after a vacuum is created, metals such as titanium, silicon, and magnesium are vaporized in a crucible by electron beams. The vapors rise and grow on the glass as metal crystals. The resulting color is determined by the individual oxide composition.
Now here's the magic! One color is reflected from the glass surface and a separate, completely different color is shown when the light is allowed to pass through the glass. Dichroic color applied to black glass will relect all the light and give you a dynamic metallic color. The same Dichroic color applied to clear glass will absorb and reflect light giving an ever-shifting rainbow of color. As you view the beads and charms on the website, keep in mind how difficult it is to photograph the dichroic colors on clear glass. The rainbow can not be captured.
Each color shown on the website on clear based glass has a softer hue than the same color on a black based bead, and also a separate transmitted color when the light is allowed to go into the glass.
Another wonderful property of dichroic glass is that no two pieces are ever alike. The color will vary like the dye lots in some hand-dyed yarns and the sizes may vary because each bead is made one at a time by hand.
In the case of the dichroic charms, each charm is hand cut from a sheet of dichroic glass and drilled, then kiln-fired to soften the edges. Because they are hand cut and drilled, size and placement of the hole tends to vary bit. Kiln-firing the glass can also affect the size of the charms. The result is a unique charm with a character all of its own!