What is Dichroic Glass?

NASA has created dichroic glass to be used in satellite mirrors. Dichroic glass, a multi-layered coating, is applied to clear or black glass by a highly technical vacuum deposition process. The metal oxides and quartz crystals are vaporized using an electron beam gun in an enclosed vacuum chamber. The vapor then rises to the top, condenses, and forms a crystal structure. Some colors may have multiple layers of coating, but the total thickness is approximately 35 million inches.

Dichroic art glass coatings transmit certain wavelengths of light and reflect others. This creates a similar effect as the iridescent effect found in fire opals or dragonfly wings.

Dichroic glass comes in two primary colors as well as many secondary colors. Glass that is placed in direct sunlight will reflect light. Glass placed against dark backgrounds will show reflected color. Many more colors will emerge as the mirror is turned around.

This plate of dichroic glasses can be used to combine other glass with multiple firings. Different wavelengths of light can either pass through or reflect, creating a rainbow of colors. Each piece of fused Dichroic Glass is unique.

Dichroic glass can be used to enhance any project by adding interest and light play with its vivid colors. Glass artists are able to create endless design possibilities because there are so many colors, patterns, and textures. To make earrings and pendants, I prefer to use dichroic. I usually fuse the dichroic glass with a piece or clear glass. The bail is attached and you are ready to wear it!