Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, has smiled on Dennis Peabody.
Peabody’s iridescent glass jewelry and decorative objects are made with stained and dichroic glass, whose rainbow connections blaze and blend in an ever-changing array of color as light strikes them.
The artist, who began his work in 1978, has a studio at 84 Barker St. in Hartford. Peabody has long been a favorite of art-glass cognoscenti, and among his works are the stained-glass windows at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. He shows his handmade, limited-edition work at major craft shows and festivals across the country and also does commission work.
His jewelry is made from stained glass fused with dichroic glass, which is coated with colorful metallic oxides. The pieces, which include earrings, rings, pins and necklaces, are cradled in sterling silver, and the translucent glass, which comes in warm predominantly red and yellow or cool peacock’s-tail blue and green color combinations, seems to change hues as it reflects, bends and captures light.
His jewelry lines, which can be seen on his website, www.peabodystudio.com, include the Deco, Athena, Cleopatra, Terra and Goddess collections. Most of his jewelry is in the $20 to $350 price range, but some pieces, including custom work, cost far more.
The Goddess group of one-of-a-kind necklaces, rings and pins, such as the $900 piece shown here, offers a striking combination of shapes and colors. In them, Peabody marries cabochons of bezeled dichroic glass with sterling-silver beads and components, and each cabochon and combination is unique. They rival opals and other precious stones with their fiery or liquid beauty.
It’s hard to believe that such stunning objects begin with pieces of broken glass, but they do. Peabody breaks sheets of dichroic glass from a California manufacturer, heats them on a kiln shelf and forms the resulting honey-like liquid into beads, which he blends with stained glass and shapes into rounds or squares, sometimes etching them by sandblasting.
“I take broken pieces of glass and showcase them,” he says. “They become precious and unique because they are made by hand.”
For information on the Peabody Studio, visit his website, or call 860-296-8811.
A ‘Selective Color Mirror’
Dichroic glass, a spin-off from space technology, intensely reflects light without glare and had scientific and medical uses long before jewelry makers began using it in the 1990s.
It is created, according to a major producer of the material, Gerald Sandberg, quoted on the website beadbugle.com, when thin layers of metal oxides, such as titanium, silicon or magnesium, ranging in depth from three to five millionths of an inch, produce an “interference filter” that is attached to ordinary glass in a vacuum furnace.
This filter acts as a “selective color mirror” that reflects and transmits, but does not absorb light as regular colored glass does. Dichroic glass produces a shifting of color as the viewing angle changes, creating an iridescence that has been likened to the range of color in a peacock’s tale, an opal or a butterfly’s wing.
Source by Linda Kinyo