601 Frank Sturdivant Dr.
Phillip, MS 38950
Old House Glass Works creates dichroic fused glass earrings, necklaces and bracelets that are unique and one of a kind in design; we also offer a variety of gift items using the fusion process and dichroic glass. We create custom designed stained glass windows on a commission basis.
We offer unique, one of a kind, dichroic fused glass creations in jewelry, gift items and art work for your home.
How I fell head over heels in love with colored glass!
What is a dichroic coating? In a simple answer, it is a metal oxide applied to glass within a vacuum chamber. The number of applications will determine the color achieved. Metal oxides used in glass work is also an ancient process and was used starting in A.D. 240 until the mid 4th century when the knowledge of the process was lost.
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What are dichroic coatings?
The most recent discovery of dichroic coatings happened when Corning Glass developed it for use by NASA in the space program; it was applied to the face shields of astronauts when they work outside of the space station and its properties prevent the rays of the sun from burning their retinas, causing blindness. Why is this coating effective? The answer is the ability of this surface coating to reflect light of one color and to transmit light of a different color. Transmitted colors are what you see when you look through a piece of dichroic coated glass and the reflected colors are those you see when you view the glass from a 45 degree angle; thus, movement of the piece causes a constant shifting of the viewed colors.
Dichroic, or metal oxide, coatings are created when ultra thin layers of different metals such as gold, silver, titanium, chromium, aluminum, sirconium, magnesium or silica are vaporized by an electron beam inside of a vacuum chamber; the vapor then condenses on the surface of the glass in the form of a crystal structure. The glass can have as many as 30 to 50 layers of these materials and its finished appearance is very similar to that of a gemstone. Careful control of the thickness in application is how many different colors can be obtained. Each piece of dichroic coated glass must go through at least one firing in the kiln; each firing takes the glass to 1450 degrees over a 10 hour period. Due to variations in the firing process, individual results can never be exactly predicted, so each piece of fused dichroic glass is unique and one of a kind.
The Romans first discovered the use of metals in glass and produced it from A.D. 240 to the mid fourth century. The most famous, and very rare, example is the fourth century Lycurgus Cup, which is housed in the British Museum. When the cup was recently removed from its metal housing, a small chip of the glass was discovered and analyzed. It was found to contain colloidal silver and gold particles dispersed throughout the glass matrix in certain proportions; this creative process causes the cup to appear green when lit from the front in a reflected light and to appear purple/red when lit from inside the cup, with light passing through the glass. During the Renaissance, glass workers in Venice, Italy also used metal oxides in glass production, but only a few, rare, fragments remain.