Happy Camper

Happy Camper Necklace

Dichroic Glass and 5th Grade Camp

As some of you may know, I work part-time for the University of Washington as a field supervisor for student teaching interns.  One of the student teachers I worked with this past year was teaching a 5th grade class that was earning money to attend 5th grade camp.  The school had a kiln and the classroom teacher knew how to fuse glass.  So she created an after school glass club where students could learn how to make a variety of fused glass projects, which they would then sell to defray the costs of going to camp.  When I first started visiting this class they were selling dichroic fused glass pendants.  They ran this venture as a business.  They had business cards, they tracked their inventory, and their expenses and income.  All the proceeds went to helping defray the costs of 5th grade camp.  I looked through their extensive selection of pendants and selected the one you see here.

Happy Camper Necklace

Happy Camper Necklace

I felt I was contributing to a good cause and the pendant I selected is very nice.  I decided on a contemporary, asymmetrical design.

Happy Camper Necklace

Happy Camper Necklace

The turquoise, bow tie shaped beads on the right, are vintage German glass.  The metallic black, tip drilled glass beads feel really silky in the hand (yes, I am a very tactile person).  The clasp is sterling silver and the length is adjustable.

Happy Camper Necklace

Happy Camper Necklace

I decided to name this the “Happy Camper Necklace“, since the purchase of the pendant helped send those 5th graders to camp. And believe me, they had a blast there and learned a lot about science, social studies and cooperative work.

Later in the year, the kids also made fused glass wall vases, light catchers and garden markers.  What a great way to integrate business skills, art, math, science (properties of glass), and social skills!  Way to go 5th graders!

The “Happy Camper Necklace” is now available in my ArtFire shop.


Spring Break

Time To Play With Beads!

It’s Spring Break at all but one of the schools where I have student teachers to supervise.  That means that I only have one appointment on Friday and the whole rest of the week is MINE! (you can start cheering here!)

Today I’m slogging through the tedious task of filling out my mileage report form for the university.  I’m so clerically inept — it just puts me on edge.  And, of course, I’ve put off the paper work for 3 months and now it is all due on Monday and I must get it done.  Sigh…

turquoise, black  and orange earrings

I used to name all my jewelry and I’ve decided to return to that practice.  It makes it seem more personal and special.  This pair of earrings is called Turquoise Glow.  They were added to my shop last night.

dichroic earrings in black, turquoise and orange

The Turquoise Glow earrings are made with dichroic glass beads,  which just seem to glow from within.   According to Wise Geek:

“Dichroic glass, also called fusion glass, is glass treated with various metal oxides to make it appear to have many colors. Developed for use in the American space program, dichroic glass is now popular as a jewelry and art material. The name comes from a Greek word meaning “two colors.” …

To make dichroic glass, the glass must be sprayed with micro-layers of metals, usually including titanium, chromium, gold, zirconium, and aluminum. This is conducted in a vacuum chamber, which evaporates the metals and fuses them to the glass in extremely thin layers. The fusion process creates a crystalline structure on the glass, which causes light to fracture. Each piece of dichroic glass has at least three colors: the color that reflects from the glass, the color of the glass, and a second refracted color that can be seen at a 45 degree angle. The process requires special equipment, and can be quite expensive to produce.”


Are your kids on Spring Break?  What about you?  Any fun plans?