Unlocking the Mysteries of Dichroic Color

Unlocking the mysteries of dichroic color

Color holds me captive.  It grabs me in a way that I crave no release.  I am in love with my captor.

Since 1979, I have been a captive of color and it's co-conspirator,  light.  It happened when I encountered stained glass up close and personal.  When I later discovered dichroic glass, I knew I was in for life.

So what is this magical, irresistible substance, dichroic color?  It is more than just a substance, it is the interplay of light on color in three dimensions.  It is the effect of looking through color and seeing both the reflection and transmission of color at the same time.  In the case of dichroic color on glass, it is the shifting of color and seeing two colors in the same object as it reacts to the angle of light.

 This seems like rocket science but is actually a natural occurrence.   What child does not delight in the iridescent rainbows that flow around the thin skin of bubbles?  We can find shifting colors of the rainbow in the oil sheen of a puddle or on a delicate butterfly wing.

The secret is thinness.  The magic can be discovered in the micro-molecular thinness of color and colors overlaid to produce a stunning visual effect.   It holds the attention and mesmerizes the viewer's eye by shifting and shifting its quality and character like no chimera can.  The impact of this amazing kind of color  mixes science, mythology, nature and perhaps a bit of magic to create a visual wonder.

Below,  you can see some nice examples of  dichroic  glass as well as creative works by artisans who capture brilliant color in the fullest sense, dichroic or not.

Intense Blue Silver Dichroic Large Hole Bead, Handmade Lampwork Glass Bead

Blue dichroic lamp work bead by Charlotte Hayes of Covergirlbeads

Dichroic Glass Cufflinks, Marbled Green Blue and Purple, Square

Dichroic cufflinks by Kellie Resetar of Resetar Glass Art

Gold Swarovksi AB Finish Handmade Earrings Flower Bead Cap

Swarovski crystal earrings by Barbara Len of

Ocean Aqua Blue Green Lampwork Glass Beaded Stack Bracelet

Lamp work glass bracelet by Nancy Tonelli of Jazz it up With Designs by Nancy

Peacock Pendant Hand Forged Kiln Fired Bronze in Natural Rainbow Colors

Forged bronze pendant by Anna Garner of


A bracelet lanyard in lemon lime green and fresh white

Beaded lanyard bracelet by Mary Beth Johnson of the Twisted Red Head


Dark Dusty Rose and Amethyst Necklace with Artistic Jasper Pendant

Beaded Necklace by Kathy Launiu of KatsAllThat



Kokopeli dichroic glass pendant by Catherine Waterhouse of ShadowDogDesigns

Contemplation in Blue Handmade Dichroic Fused Glass Cabochon Pendant

Dichroic glass pendant by Jo Perez of Umeboshi Jewelry Designs





Wow Jo, your descriptive post

Wow Jo, your descriptive post about dichroic glass is so informative. I have long admired those with the talent to create this beautiful color effect. Thank you for sharing this great information and for including my burgundy pearl and garnet necklace. Will share on all social sites.

In the light is a delight!

You had me with the first three sentences. I was being drawn in to a juicy novel. I love dichro! It is amazing to be able to get so many colors that sparkle like dichro, especially in the sunlight! Everyone should own at least one piece to admire! Thanks for including my lampwork bead.

Your passion for this medium

Your passion for this medium is evident in your gorgeous work, Jo. I loved reading the intro and how quickly you became hooked. You were meant to create with glass, and the rest of us are the better for it! Thanks so much for including my bracelet lanyard. Off to share now.

Very informative post - I

Very informative post - I love using Dichroic Glass as well. Your pieces are beautiful! And thank you for including my Dichroic Glass Cufflinks :)
Sharing now -

Your Writing!

I am impressed by your very expressive - poetic - writing skills; your narrative magnifies the beauty of the artisan pieces you posted as examples. Thank you for including my little bronze peacock pendant.


I have always loved the iridescent sheen of a dragon fly's body, butterfly wing, surface of a pearl, and of course opals. Dichroic glass makes that color and light play something real, less fleeting, and so beautiful to wear. Your creations and selections here are lovely.

Beautiful items! I love your

Beautiful items! I love your fused glass designs! Thanks so much for including my stack bracelet.


I agree with others who have commented before me, Jo: You have a way with words when it comes to describing your beloved dichroic glass! I, too, love the shimmer and play in the glass and particularly love that you describe it as including "perhaps a bit of magic." Thank you for including my earrings amongst the brilliance and iridescence!

Great post!

What a wonderful post, Jo! Love your description of how color and the colors in glass captured you. That's the way I feel about gemstones (: Many thanks for including Kokopeli in your post. Will share far and wide.

I didn't know just what

I didn't know just what dichroic glass was, what sets it apart from other types of glass. Very interesting! And yes, the shimmery, shifting rainbow like colors are the primary characteristic of this special type of glass, it seems. Your pieces are so unique and eye catching, Jo!

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