After teaching art in high school for 32 years, I retired and found that I had the freedom to expand upon one or two mediums that I really enjoyed. I began my venture with stained glass, making panels and a few window installations. My dad was a dental technician and had a few tiny kilns that he gave me.
After much experimentation with bits and pieces of regular glass I decided that I would try the "good stuff" i.e. dichroic glass.
One of my most popular designs comes from the love of quilting, thus, the "patchwork" jewelry. Each tiny little patterned strip is cut and "pieced" together to form an overall pattern. The process involves cutting the glass with a class cutter and refining the edges with a water cooled diamond encrusted bit. Dichroic glass is difficult to grind without marring the surface coloration so I try to make the cut perfect. The glass is built in layers and fused in a kiln that reaches 1500o F. Peeking is allowed since some designs require a but more or less than others. When building the jewelry sometimes as many as three firings are needed.
While some of my jewelry is simple others are more complex. I love to push the glass to do things out of the ordinary. Lampworking is one way to do this. Small strips of glass are melted over a torch and formed into beads or stretched into various shapes. "Bad" beads sometimes can be recycled by firing in the kiln at higher temperature than normal. What comes out is sometimes a success.
Some of the jewelry is wire wrapped with sterling silver and/or gold filled wire. Most of the pendants have a slide attached .