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I is for Iridized Glass

yellow sunflower mandala: a glass mosaic by Margaret Almon
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yellow sunflower mandala: a glass mosaic by Margaret Almon


I is for iridized glass, and its shimmering rainbow effect.  A thin metallic layer is bonded to the glass when a metallic salt solution is applied and then heated.  Dichroic glass, which means “two color” is sometimes confused with iridized glass, but it is a coating that allows the glass to toggle back and forth between only 2 colors. The pale yellow glass, second row from the outer edge in this mandala, is iridized, and you can see the subtle purplish sheen of the rainbow coloration.  Tiffany patented a version of iridescent glass called “Favrile” which was applied to his blown glass artworks. Here is an excerpt from Mark Doty’s apt poem, titled Favrile:

at century’s end,
compounded metallic lusters


in reference
to natural sheens (dragonfly
and beetle wings,


marbled light on kerosene)
and invented names
as coolly lustrous


as their products’
scarab-gleam: Quetzal,
Aurene, Favrile.


respectively, the glaze
of feathers,


that sun-shot fog
of which halos
are composed. . .



  1. Glad you enjoyed it–iridized glass is one of my passions, and I love to share it. Ancient glass became iridized when buried in sand for years, and chemical changes occurred–and an inspiration for inventors to make it on purpose.

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