FAQ

Shipping and Handling

Shipping is a flat rate of $5.95 on all orders and is free if the order is over $200. All shipping is with US Priority Mail. If you live locally, in the San Diego area, you can make arrangements to pick up your order from my glass studio and save on the shipping cost.

Dichroic Glass

This is a special glass that has been coated with thin layers of metallic oxides that transmit some wavelengths of light while reflecting others.  Upon kiln-firing, also called fusing, to a high temperature of about 1475 degrees, a color shift occurs resulting in a variety of spectacular colors.  Some Dichroic Glass has a black backing and some Dichroic Glass has a clear backing.

Glassmaking has been around for thousands of years, while Dichroics first appeared around 25 years ago.  So it is relatively new.  It was discovered and first used in the aerospace industry.  Back then it was very expensive and sold for about $25.00 a square inch, before it became available commercially.  It is still expensive compared to other fusible glass, because it is so special.

Fused Glass

Fusing glass involves cutting glass and stacking it together and firing the glass in a kiln to about 1500 degrees until it fuses or joins together in one piece.  This process takes about 12 to 14 hours, including heating and cool down.  This is full-fusing.  In addition to full-fusing, I do a process called tack-fusing.  This process takes the heat to a lesser temperature so that the glass does not flow, but it still joins together.  At this stage, there is still some texture in the final result.  Another part of the fusing process is called “annealing,” which requires a holding time that causes strengthening of the glass.

Fusing glass requires using special glass that heats and cools at the same rate.  This is called the “coefficient of expansion.”  It is essential that all glass used in making a piece of fused glass must have the same coefficient rate.  Otherwise, the glass will crack, this can happen as it is firing or even once it’s complete.   This is the primary reason fusible glass is so expensive, compared to regular glass.

Slumping

Slumping is the final stage of this entire process.  This involves an additional kiln-firing.  The fused glass is placed in or over a mold and re-fired to about 1250 degrees until it “slumps” and takes the shape of the mold to become a vase or plate or bowl, or whatever shape has been used.  After it cools down, it is complete.