Dichroic and Silver Jewelry

Dichroic and silver jewelry make a stunning combination. Fusing glass with clay is one way to encase your dichroic pendants. PMC3 clay is designed to be used with glass.

When making your dichroic pendant, use Crystal Clear art glass for the top layer of your piece. There is a chemical reaction that can occur between the dichroic glass and the silver. This reaction can cause some discoloration of your glass. Using a Crystal Clear art glass as your top coat of your cab will help to avoid this discoloration. Crystal Clear art glass is chemically altered so that it will prevent any reaction.

Because PMC3 fires at a lower temperature than fuse glass, therefore, there is no process for fusing sterling silver with your glass. You will need to prepare your fused glass pieces first.

Fire the silver 350 degrees per hour to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. Hold the piece at this temperature for 45 minutes, then allow it to cool slowly.

PMC3 shrinks approximately 10-15% and will grab the glass as it reduces in size. You can either make or purchase some small dichroic cabs.

There are several ways you can make dichroic and silver jewelry using PMC3.

  • Coil and Wrap Method
  • Slab Method

  • Coil and Wrap Method

    Make a coil out of your silver clay and wrap it all the way around the dichroic piece. It should touch all the way around just enough to hold the glass. You can use the PMC3 to make a loop on the top for a bail. There is no need to put the PMC3 on the back of the piece, and doing this can cause cracking problems.

    Once your piece is dry, you can sand it lightly to even it out, then fire the piece to about 1300 for 10 minutes, down to 1200 for about 20 minutes, down to 1110 for 30 minutes, and then cool completely.

    Slab Method

    Using 3 playing cards on each side of the clay roll out a slab of PMC3. You should make this large enough to place your dichroic glass piece on the bottom 2/3 of the clay.

    Using a sharp object, outline your glass piece in the clay. Remove your dichroic cab and cut out the middle of this drawn area. Place your dichroic piece back on the clay. Fold the clay over a straw to make a loop for hanging purposes.

    You can either use your PMC3 clay or PMC3 in a syringe to add details around the cab. Be sure that your decorating pieces cover the edges of the stone to hold it in place. Press these pieces into the clay bottom securely.

    Once your PMC3 has dried, sand it lightly to make the edges smooth and neat. Fire the piece to about 1400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

    Dichroic and silver jewelry is not only stunning, but gives your pieces that professional finish. Fusing sterling silver with your dichroic glass can add a stunning effect to your piece.

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