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Contents:  loose dichroic glass cabochons for artists; Article on Dichroic glass



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Here's what our dichroic glass cabs table looks like.



No minimum order required for this section, already wholesale priced

22 grams, 7/8" diameter

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25 grams, 3/4 to 7/8"

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27 grams, 7/8" diameter

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21 grams, 5/8 to 1"

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21 grams, 5/8"



SINGLE Dichroic Glass cabs

(wholesale priced)

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11 grams, 1-1/4 x 1-1/8"





The word "dichroic" (pronounced DIE-CROW-ICK) means two-colors.  It is a glass process that has become a respected "gem" in the jewelry community, as the material used to coat the glass is expensive, and a fully equipped lab is needed to make it.  It rivals the beauty of natural gems!  It is created by only three glass companies in the U.S.

HISTORY:  Dichroic glass was originally developed for the lighting and photo industry.  Much like a "sepia" lens for a camera only lets certain wavelengths of light through, causing a photo to develop with a brownish tone, dichroic coatings on clear glass will produce particular color filtrations.  Think of stage lighting where they have lights that produce red, blue, and other various shades to make the perfect lighting.  Dichroic glass is still used for this throughout the world.  NASA does use a dichroic coating on some panels but from what I can gather it's not on glass, in spite of what some websites claim. Due to the art potential in this glass, it was introduced to the glass community.. at a whopping $25.00 per square inch ($3000/square foot)! Today the sheets cost approximately $300.00 per square foot (retail), a huge improvement. Picked up by bead-makers in the early 1990s, it has rapidly become a favorite medium for lamp-workers and glass craftsmen.

HOW IT'S MADE:  Multiple layers of metallic oxides & quartz (which can include gold, silver, copper, aluminum, titanium, chromium, magnesium, silicon) are  vaporized onto the glass using a laser beam directed into a small pot of the mixture,  bonding 16 to 32 coatings of variable thickness (average 1/40th of a sheet of paper--molecularly thin) onto "pumpkins" (19x17" glass that is flat on two ends, rounded on the other ends). 

WHAT MAKES IT PRETTY?  The angle of the glass within the vacuum chamber determines the color. In actuality, there is no color produced. What you are seeing is pure light manipulation at it finest. The glass reflects one color and refracts another with incredible life and
brilliance. Depending on the texture of the glass, whether it is clear or black, and the kinds of metals used, the reflection transmitted and color range is huge and vastly interesting. The effects are similar to the iridescence observed in nature such as opal, hummingbird feathers and dragonfly wings.

FAST FORWARD TO JEWELRY: A glass artist will cut a piece of the dichroic glass, layer it with clear or colored "frit" which is bits of compatible glass that add texture and color - and fire it.  They may add other colors and fire several times until they get the color combination they want, then fire one last time with a clear glass sheet to create depth and a professional finish.  It is then either wire wrapped or set in silver or gold as jewelry.  No two pieces are EVER alike.

Expect to be stopped wherever you go to explain what GEM you're wearing!

One of our great dichroic customers in Washington State - Ann - created the intricate necklace below using some of our dichroic glass cabochons.

The title of the piece is Fairy Berry Bog because it reminds her of a multicolored blueberry bog. It took about a year of beading time and uses dichroic glass cabs, glass pearls, Swarovski crystals, turquoise rice beads around the edging, and 24k gold plated beads.  Price can be requested from Ann at her website below:

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Here's eascarborough.com

Thanks for sharing, Ann!

Bianca (Dichro ho' from Down Under, or The Bead Muse, as she refers to herself) created this spectacular necklace from seed beads, and several of our dichroic glass cabs.  It took her about 100 hours to make:

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Here is another that is in competition as a finalist and will be on the cover of Creative Beading magazine in January '06:

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She makes wearable art in seed beads, silver, lampworked beads, etc. and makes simpler items she sells at shows, though she still has a day job.  She and her husband live on a cliff top on the coast south of Adelaide, Australia - nothing grows there but the coastal plants, they are lovely but very utilitarian for the area and she so loves flowers. But she will just bead them. This blue neckpiece is very much inspired by the night skies there, lots of dusky blues and greens and bronzes and a smidgen of dark pink, just before the sun goes down.  Here's her website to view and enjoy:



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