|About Dichroic Glass
|Many of our pieces use dichroic glass. The brilliant dichroic optical properties of dichroic glass are the result of
multiple micro-layers of metal oxides. These thin layers of oxides have a total thickness of three to five millionths
of an inch.
NASA developed modern dichroic glass for use in satellite mirrors. Multiple ultra-thin layers of different metals
(gold, silver, titanium, chromium, aluminium, zirconium, magnesium, silicon) are applied to the surface of the
glass in a vacuum chamber.
The resulting plate of dichroic glass can then be fused with other glass in multiple firings. Certain wavelengths of
light will either pass through or be reflected, causing an array of colours to be visible. Each color of dichroic
glass has three colors: the first, the base color, is the color that the glass appears to be if you look at it straight
on against a dark background. The second color, the reflected color, is the color that is seen when you look at
the glass from a 45 degree angle. The third color, the transmitted color, is the color seen when looking through
the glass held up to light ( dichroic glass with a black base does not exhibit a transmitted color, since the black
glass is opaque.) A good visual explanation of this can be found here.
Due to variations in the firing process, individual results can never be exactly reproduced; each piece of fused
dichroic glass is unique and no two pieces are ever the same!
An interesting note is that dichroic glass has actually existed in some form since ancient Rome, when glass
combined with colloidial silver and gold was made into pieces with dichroic properties!