Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Fused dichroic glass decal pendants: Hope and Faith inspirational jewelry

A few months ago, I introduced glass decals to a couple of my senior classes. I cut up large strips of solid-colored dichroic glass and brought in a variety of decals for them to choose: hearts, butterflies, dragons, palm trees, dogs and cats, beach scenes, suns and moons, and inspirational sayings. Many of my students are animal-lovers like me, so I figured we'd go through the dog and cat decals pretty quickly.

To my surprise, only one person included a cat and only one used a dog. And almost the rest used either hearts, beach scenes, smiling suns... and inspirational sayings. In fact, I had several people who made pendants that included a sun and something like "Hope" or "Live, Love, Laugh" underneath it.

It was an interesting "social experiment" and made me think about why the seniors were so drawn to these images. I suppose that when you can no longer travel as easily, a beach scene is a reminder of a vacation. And I suppose when your health is failing -- as is the case, unfortunately, with many of my students -- it's comforting to admire a smiling sun or remind yourself to simply have hope. Or maybe I'm going too deep with this and my students just thought the decals looked cool.

After my lessons, I had some leftover decals, so I took a cue from my seniors and made my own Hope, Faith and Sun pendants:

That pink and gold dichroic glass is beautiful, but when I purchased it, I hadn't realized that it's textured. That made applying the decals a bit challenging because they work best when they're fired onto a smooth surface. To compensate, I did a very slow firing, using 15-minute increments. It was tedious, but it worked because you can clearly see the decals.

I sold a few of these pieces at my next show and noted how many people were drawn to the sayings or the sun. I guess having an inspirational reminder is something that everyone can use. It's nice to have a little pick-me-up, especially when it's included in a beautiful piece of glass. So thank you to my students for giving ME an idea!

Check out the rest of my handmade glass and wire wrapped jewelry at Naomi's Designs.

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