I had a few adventures along the way as I made two sets of dichroic fused glass tiles to be used as decorations in the lids of some wooden boxes that I bought. A while back, one of my suppliers was running a sale on accessories and I picked up four each of two sizes of cherry wood boxes, thinking that I’d make some fused glass tiles to place in the lids. The smaller boxes are about 5″ square with a place in the lid about 4 1/4″ square for a tile and the larger boxes are just shy of 7″ with a place in the lid about 6″ square for a tile. I’ve been thinking about the boxes on and off for a while, trying to figure out what kind of tiles I wanted to create for the lids.
Finally, I decided to just keep it simple, so I layered up a piece of thin black glass on the bottom, a piece of patterned dichroic glass on top of that, and a capping piece of thin clear glass on top. Since each layer was thin, I didn’t think that the glass would spread too much in the kiln during the firing. I was counting on a quarter to a half an inch of spread.
Oops! It turned out that the tiles spread much more than I expected! I got almost 3/4″ of spread in the glass during the firing, so the tiles didn’t fit the lids properly. So, as the result of the extra spread, I’ve had to grind down the edges of the tiles to fit the boxes and then put them back in the kiln for a fire polishing. Now I still have to go to the hardware store and get some mirror adhesive to attach the dichroic fused glass tiles to the lids of each of the boxes before I can put them on the website for sale.
For those of you who don’t know what dichroic glass is or how it’s made, here is the definition of dichroic glass from the website of my supplier, CBS:
Dichroic Glass is a multi-layer coating placed on glass by using a highly technical vacuum deposition process. Quartz Crystal and Metal Oxides are Vaporized with an electron beam gun in an airless vacuum chamber and the vapor then floats upward and attaches then condenses on the surface of the glass in the form of a crystal structure. Our colors have as many as 30 layers of these materials yet the thickness of the total coating is approximately 35 millionths of an inch. The coating that is created is very similar to a gemstone and by careful control in thickness, different colors are obtained. Thus, all our coatings are created using the same exact materials. Originally created for the Aerospace industry, Dichroic Glass is now made available to the artist community through Coatings By Sandberg, Inc. CBS Dichroic Glass is specifically designed to be hotworked in any way but can also be used in its raw form. The main characteristic of Dichroic Glass is that it has a transmitted color and a completely different reflective color. Furthermore, these two colors shift depending on angle of view. With the play of light together with its vibrant color, Dichroic Glass is a prime tool used to add interest to any piece of work or project. With over 45 Colors of Dichroic Coatings available to be placed on “any” substrate (ie glass), artists have unlimited freedom of expression.
The picture shows the dichroic fused glass tiles for the smaller 5″ boxes. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) Each of these tiles has a different pattern in the dichroic glass – one pattern is named Pixie Stix, one is Corkscrews, one is Fusion, and the last is Cool Lava. I’d be curious to hear what you think of them and which is your favorite.
Where color and texture come alive through the magical alchemy of fused glass. Do your home and work spaces feel beautiful and inspiring? Are you looking for a splash of creative color to spark your own creative energy? We create beautiful and functional pieces of art glass in unique handmade designs for your home or work space.