Following on from yesterday’s post about Dichroic Glass Pendants I thought I should explain a little about dichroic glass, it’s not as recent a discovery as we are lead to believe, and was actually invented by the Romans.
I was lead to believe that dichroic glass was invented by NASA as a coating for the windshield of the space shuttle, now I believe this is an urban myth but I have to say I like the ideaas it always conjures up a vision of the space shuttle in my head, but not we we know the space shuttle, my imaginary one has one massive dichroic cabochon as the windshield.
I recently read that dichroic glass was invented as far back as the 4th C AD and can be seen in the Lycurgus cup in the British Museum, read more about it here.
Here you can see the two colours of the dichroic glass in the Lycurgus cup.
Dichroic glass is made in a vacuum chamber by depositing thin layers of vaporised metal onto the surface of the glass. There may be 30 to 50 layers of metal but the layer is only around 35 millionths of an inch thick.
Dichroic glass has different colours for transmitted and reflected light, this is what gives it that amazing quality of changing colour in the light.
Each morning I can’t wait to open the kiln door to see the fruit of my labours, dichro brings out the magpie in me!
If you would like to see how I make dichro cabochons click here