Sunday, February 1, 2009

Metal Up/Metal Down

As described by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Dichroic glass is glass containing multiple micro-layers of metal oxides which give the glass dichroic optical properties. Dichroic glass was originally developed by NASA and its contractors for use in satellite optics and spacesuit visors.[1]

Multiple ultra-thin layers of different metal oxides (gold, silver, titanium, chromium, aluminium, zirconium, magnesium, silicon) are vaporised by an electron beam in a vacuum chamber. The vapour then condenses on the surface of the glass in the form of a crystal structure. This is sometimes followed by a protective layer of quartz crystal.[2] The finished glass can have as many as 30[2] to 50 layers of these materials yet the thickness of the total coating is approximately 30[2] to 35 millionths of an inch (about 760 to 890 nm). The coating that is created is very similar to a gemstone and, by careful control of thickness, different colours are obtained.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

As used by glass artists dichroic glass has many varieties and color combinations. Dichroic glass is usually sold as a coating on clear glass or black glass. Dichroic on black glass will always look the same regardless of what is layered beneath it. I always use dichroic on clear, because it will look different depending on what color glass you have layered in over. Dichroic is available in plain colors , usually two colors, such as pink/teal, or orange/cyan, or violet/yellow. These colors become evident as light strikes the dichroic surface at different angles. Often a third color may become visible. Dichroic is also available in various patterns such as swirls or wavy lines, and also may be seen with images etched on it like dragonflies, kitties or hearts. Often I purchase dichroic glass in rainbow hues in patterns like "Pixie Stix", or "Cork Screw".

Dichroic glass, like iridescent glass always has a metallic side and a glass side. Because the dichroic coating is one one side of the glass the piece will look quite different depending on how it is layered and whether or not the dichroic surface is facing up or facing down.

The Above photo demonstrates the differences achieved by identical dichroic glass coatings with metal side up and metal side down.
NOTE: When layering dichroic on dichroic, you cannot fuse metal side to metal side. the dichroic surfaces will not fuse to each other.

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