Dichroic glass beads (pink) and sterling silver
Dichroic glass - it really is rocket science.
NASA originally developed dichroic glass for use in satellite mirrors in the 1990s. Making it is a complex process and only a few manufacturers have the high-tech equipment. They use high temperature vacuum chambers, vaporizing electro-guns and high temperature kilns. In short, they vaporize metallic oxides like magnesium and titanium and the floating dust settles on hot glass in a vacuum chamber. No wonder it costs about $10 an ounce; expensive glass. It comes in many, many different colors and patterns.
These earrings are created by merging two different techniques; metalsmithing and lampwork glass bead making.
They both require a torch (two different ones) and allow me to use sterling silver wire and glass rods to make something very different from what I start out with.
Since each bead is individually hand made, please allow for some slight variation from the images.
How these earrings are made:
To make the glass bead, I heat the glass rod with a torch until it is molten and the consistency of thick honey. Then I begin the first wrap of the glass around the mandrel using whatever color will be the base color. Next, the dichroic glass is heated until it reaches the melting point and then this is wrapped around the existing glass on the mandrel. It is shaped and sometimes some clear glass is added at the top and bottom of the bead. After the final shaping, the bead then goes into the kiln to be annealed. Annealing removes internal stress that builds up in the glass during creation.
The silver piece that goes through the bead is fabricated and the top circle soldered closed. This is made out of 18 gauge sterling silver. This piece is put into a tumbler to 'work harden' it and give it a shiny finish.
After this, the bead is first put on the wire, then a 5 mm sterling silver bead and the end is forged (hammered) so everything stays on.
This piece is added to the ear wire to complete the earring.
First Item: $ 3.00
Additional Items: $ 0.00
I accept payment through Paypal or if you'd like to pay by credit card, you can use PayPal (without creating an account if you don't have one).
I will ship within 3 business days of payment with delivery confirmation, using the US Postal Service.
Currently shipping in the United States only.
*** California residents will be charged sales tax ***
I want you to be satisfied with your purchase, however, if you want to return for a refund, you must do so within 7 days of delivery date. Please email me prior to returning your item.
on Apr 17, 2013