Colorful mirror glass engrave AKA fired dichro patterns

I’ve been testing ideas for a new puzzle – everything in my life is puzzles, can’t help it :sweat_smile: – and have been engraving the thin dichroic coating off of glass to be kiln fired. I did have a bit of an issue with getting the right focus, so set a piece of similar thickness material next to the glass to focus the camera on.

The black lines are to help me get a rough 1/4" placement of the puzzle piece shape to engrave via the GF camera. Note that the dichro coating has to be up for this to work, since the point is to ablate the micron-thin layers of metallic ions (?) that make the dichro so pretty and reflective, off. It doesn’t take much laser power, since I don’t want to engrave the glass if I can help it.

Here are all my test bits before firing. These all have a black background with either a clear piece of glass on the dichro – capped – or the clear glass is under the black to give it the needed mass to go round at high temperatures. You can also see some of the other ideas I’m playing with :wink:

Completed firing!
And exactly why I am doing so many tests. Notice how completely different the fired dichro looks! And the online photos also look nothing like either the finished fired glass or the pre-fired dichro glass. sigh But they are all pretty!

Some close-ups, one set is clear capped, the other is dichro exposed:

I made pairs so I can use my test to make earring studs :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Before I got all the way to the bottom of your post, I was thinking that those would make beautiful earrings. They look like little gems with things inside of them. Nice work!


Thanks for sharing this process and the photos. You will lead us into additional rabbit holes.


Really love this! Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for sharing


I only understand a quarter of this process, but the outcome looks great!


Lovely looks great.

What a wonderful way to use your rest pieces.


Wow, did those ever turn out pretty! If you drill a hole in the larger rectangular ones, you could turn them into necklaces.


@Xabbess Great minds think alike :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

@dklgood All the rabbit holes! I figured if this forum likes to talk all things maker, this would be a nice one to add. There are already companies that sell laser engraved patterned dichro – but not custom :wink:

Thank you @marthajackson1970 , @wenning08, @Thumper369! A little pre-planning helps with the test piece having an alternate purpose. Besides, dichoic glass is so expensive (~$20 for 4x4") that I didn’t want to waste any of it!

@sqw Thank you! Sorry for the jargon use :sweat_smile: I have a little kiln that I can heat up to 1450 degrees Fahrenheit, which will melt stacked pieces of glass all together. So I stacked 3 pieces of 2mm glass squares, and when you get the glass hot, it will pull in the corners and try to ball up, but can only make a dome, since one side is flat. Dichroic glass has been put into special machine that sprays ions of metal at the glass to make it rainbow reflective, like an oil slick!

@ellencadwell great idea! These are going to be “Lost Puzzle Piece” talismans – keep it around so you don’t lose a puzzle piece :wink:


I love cool new techniques! So innovative.


This is just amazing! Thanks for sharing your process.


Thank you, @rvogt and @cynd11 . New techniques are what drive me to be creative :heart_eyes_cat::heart_eyes_cat::heart_eyes_cat: