Monday, 7 May 2007

Dichroic glass is lovely

I love dichroic glass. I first saw it on a US glass website and thought "that is the glass for me". I originally used Dichromagic but now I only use CBS (Coatings by Sandberg). When I first started making dichro jewellery there wasn't very much made in the UK and so the galleries I approached were quite taken with it. I went to the British Craft Trade Fair at Harrogate and most of the dichro I saw there was fairly awful (quite a lot of badly cut and underfused pieces) which encouraged me to invest more time and energy into making dichro fused pieces. Now, of course, the market is saturated with dichro and I am constantly changing my ideas and designs to keep it fresh. There is so much mass produced dichro on eBay that I can't get a good price so I'm quite glad there's Etsy now. I like to add small pieces of dichro on fused glass dishes to give them a sparkle but dichro is so expensive I have to use it sparingly. Like all my glass, I save every fragment when I have cut it and fuse the small pieces in the kiln to make decorative "blobs".
What is dichroic glass? Dichro isn't a glass in itself but layers of quartz crystal and metal oxides that coat a glass surface. As long as the coated glass is compatible with other glass then dichro coated glass can be fused with transparent or opaque glass. CBS dichro is coated onto Bullseye therefore CBS is compatible with all glass that is 90COE, including Bullseye. You can also buy other dichro coated glass, such as float, which will be compatible with glass that is 82COE. Both these types of dichroic coated glass are available from
Why use dichroic coated glass? The dichroic coating transmits a colour which, once heated, reflects a different colour from its surface. This reflection is dependent on the angle you hold the glass at because the refracted light from the surface makes it faceted. Dichro can also be influenced by the colours you are wearing as dichro jewellery can pick up different variance of colour. A good example of this is the blues which can range from cyan to violet. Wear it against black and it will be different than wearing it against, say, green. Wearing dichro jewellery is very attractive because the flash of changing colour catches the eye as the wearer moves around.

Dichroic glass jewellery by Glassprimitif is available from:


  1. Love the black and pink/purple pendant! Stunning!

    I keep all my scraps too! I think I'm gonna start selling cards with some of my scraps & I use others to make little gifts for my customers!

  2. Hi!
    I would love to learn how to work with dichroic.
    Unfortunally, here in Portugal you can't find neither materials nor teachers or books to learn how to do it.
    So, I hope to find a class in England or in Spain (perhaps this Summer) in order to learn the basics.



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