About My Art

Although I’ve worked with stained glass for many years, my focus has been exclusively on fused glass for the past eight years, primarily fused dichroic glass. Invariably, people are always fascinated by dichroic glass and want to know about it. This is why I always include a small card with each purchase that, very basically, describes dichroic glass and how I use it in my artwork. I’ll try here to go into somewhat more detail, and hopefully pique your interest in, and broaden your knowledge of, dichroic glass.

What is Dichroic Glass?

Dichroic is from the Greek, with di meaning two, and chroic meaning color. One color is transmitted through the glass, and the other is reflected. While this is descriptive, it can be misleading because you can quickly see that most pieces of dichroic glass can reflect several colors when the angle of view is changed. It’s also the color that most people don’t understand. Color, in the form of any additives, is not what makes glass dichroic. In fact, what is added is colorless. The colors we see are actually a function of the light energy that is transmitted or reflected by the dichroic “filter”.

Dichroic glass was originally made to act as an interference filter for use with industrial lasers. It’s made by adding several molecular layers of various metal oxides to a glass substrate. Originally this glass substrate was necessary for the mechanical stability of the interference filter because the filter, being only molecules thick, had no mechanical rigidity itself. With artists, of course, the glass substrate is the basis, or substance, of our art, while the interference filter material is what gives almost endless possibilities to our art. Artists have been working with dichroic glass for several years now, and some glassmakers are making it exclusively for artists, with new designs, colors and innovations coming out constantly.

Dichroic Glass in My Art

Considering different colors, textures, thicknesses and manufacturers, I currently have well over 100 different kinds of dichroic glass to work with. That, along with several hundred different colors of compatible art glass, gives me the ability to mix and match the various glasses in endless combinations for fusing. This flexibility in color combinations, when fused, is one way I have of producing stunning, vibrant, new colors that have such richness and depth. Some have described this depth as, “it seems as though you can dip your hand down into it!” It most certainly provides me with exciting material to fashion into jewelry!