Dichroic glass jewelry crafts
Learn about dichroic glass used in jewelry
Dichroic glass jewelry is made with dichroic beads, pendants, or other pieces. You may also hear it called "fused glass jewelry." The first term comes from the look of the glass; the second term comes from the way the glass is formed.
Supplies for Making Dichroic Glass Jewelry
Making dichroic glass jewelry crafts can be a more involved process than making typical beaded jewelry. You may need a kiln or fusing supplies to turn your designs into finished jewelry pieces. The process also requires a few extra steps than when you just string beads on a wire and secure the clasps. However, finished dichroic glass jewelry is stunning. Plus, the colors in one piece of dichroic glass jewelry will probably coordinate with several outfits.
The Look of Dichroic Glass Jewelry
Dichroic simply means two-colored, but dichroic glass jewelry often seems to display several colors. The different colors come from a combination of materials during the production process.
How Dichroic Glass Is Made
Dichroic glass is formed from multiple thin layers of material (metal or oxides) to form that characteristic prism look. Though first developed for use in satellites, dichroic glass is now used in all kinds of products, including lighting, sunglasses, and beads.
Millefiori Glass Beads
A related product is millefiori glass. It also contains several colors, but these form a design. Regular dichroic glass looks more like a prism or rainbow. Millefiori glass, on the other hand, shows distinct geometrical patterns, flowers, symbols, and so forth. If you do a Google image search for the two terms, you should see the difference in their looks.
Millefiori glass is created from small pieces of different-colored glass. The pieces are arranged to create a pattern, then heated in a furnace so they fuse together. After several more steps of cutting, reheating, and so forth, the glass is polished.
Like all crafts and hobbies, the cost of supplies for dichroic glass jewelry crafts can get out of hand if you buy each supply separately but only use a little of each supply. If you're a dedicated artist, you will benefit from investing in these supplies. But if you only like to dabble, kits can offer just the right amount of supplies to finish a specific project.
If you enjoy the more involved process, you can buy a dichroic jewelry kit that you must stack and fuse yourself.
But dichroic glass jewelry crafts are new to you, and you want to try a simpler project before you invest in special equipment, you can also buy a millefiori bracelet kit with all the pieces ready to go. You get the luxurious look of this glass, but all you have to do is string the beads and secure a clasp to the wire.
Coatings by Sandberg, Inc., Dichroic Glass FAQ
FossilFly Imports, "How a Murano Glass Millefiore Pendant Is Made"