Anne's web site.
Anne's Etsy site.
Through the Looking Glass
I borrowed the title from Lewis Carroll's novel where Alice
enters a glass room through a mirror to see what the world
is like on the other side. I bet it is almost like looking
into the depth of dichroic glass jewelry.
Like my two business partners I have always had a passion
for the creative process - either by using the written word,
or a medium that could be formed into visual art. The visual
part almost got the best of me when I went to school in
Copenhagen to become a window display designer. But after
I finished school I made a 25 year long detour into journalism
in my home country Norway, working as a newspaper journalist.
After moving to Maine 14 years ago I ventured into another
area of creativity, and studied web design - a skill I now
use to promote the jewelry business I share with my husband
10 years ago I was put on a new path when my husband came
home from work and said we needed a hobby. He suggested
we both learned how to make stained glass panels. We approached
this new challenge with great interest, and I loved every
moment of learning the trade and making panels. But one
day I saw a picture of dichroic glass jewelry, and I was
hooked. I couldn't wait to get my hands on a kiln and that
beautiful sparkly expensive dichroic glass.
Stained glass is still an important part of my work, but
now more as an instructor for Bangor Adult Education.
A pendant made from many layers of
Dichroic glass can also be used in a more subtle way to
create more delicate looking jewelry.
We spent over a year experimenting
and learning the skills before we took our jewelry to the
market. We established our business, Ymir Glass Design –
named after a giant in Norse mythology. We became members
of United Maine Craftsmen and have enjoyed participating
in many of their shows.
We make our jewelry mainly from dichroic glass and art glass
– fused together in a kiln at near 1500 degree F.
Dichroic glass has become popular among glass artists and
jewelry makers because of its vibrant colors and intriguing
Because dichroic glass is a spinoff from the space industry,
it is often referred to as "space age glass".
The dichroic coating was originally developed by NASA and
used in satellite mirrors.
Because of the coatings' ability to reflect almost all light
energy, we can find it in Halogen lights, infrared lasers
and movie making equipment.
Facts about dichroic glass
Actually, the term dichroic glass is incorrect. Dichroic
is a coating so thin that it has to adhere to something,
and glass is an ideal medium.
Many molecular thin layers of melted quartz crystal and
metal oxides are deposited onto the glass in a vacuum chamber.
It's a complicated process that makes this glass among the
most expensive in the world.
What we experience as color is the frequency - or wavelength
- of light that is reflected back to us from the object
we are looking at. The color we see is dependent on how
much of the light is absorbed by the object, and how much
If less then 1 % of the light is reflected, the object is
black. If more then 90 % of the light is reflected, the
object is white.
What's so intriguing about the dichroic coating is that
all light energy is either reflected or transmitted. The
coating itself is colorless.
So, why does jewelry made from dichroic glass have such
vibrant, bright, sparkling colors?
The coating forms a crystal structure comprised of many
layers, and the layers reflect different wavelengths of
light. In other words; it's the thickness of the coating
that determines what color we experience.
More technically, the layers produce an interference filter.
This interference effect can also be seen in nature, in
a dragonfly wing or a bird feather.