There are several steps we take when creating dichroic glass bolo ties. First we build a cab using pieces of dichroic glass. We carefully stack them onto a background of black sheet glass. Then the dichroic glass design is capped with a piece of clear sheet and placed into a kiln. To melt the glass to a full fuse, we turn the kiln up to 1400 degrees. In order to be most efficient with energy usage, we set up several cabs before we fire up the kiln.
Once the oven has cooled to room temperature, we carefully cut, grind and bevel the glass into a polished and refined shape. We make our dichroic glass bolo ties in 4 basic designs. These are rectangles, arcs, shields and elongated shields. The designs in the dichroic usually help dictate what shape we cut out. Sometime we use a paint pen to map out the design first to see what the shape will look like before we cut the glass. Sometime we even flip it upside down to see what direction the shape will look best. After we finish making the cab, we are then ready to fabricate a setting, using fine silver bezel and a backing of sterling silver sheet.
To make the settings, we outline the shape of the glass on the sterling sheet. Next we cut out a piece of silver that is slightly larger than the glass. This allow us to leave a small surrounding border once we solder bezel to it. Next, we wrap the glass with fine silver bezel, creating a very precise shape that will hold the glass and secure the cab properly to the sheet. Then we solder a cord holder to the back, and buff, grind and polish the hand fabricated setting to a mirror finish. When all the silversmithing is completed, we can then set the glass permanently in place with a two part epoxy. A braided leather cord and sterling silver tips complete the bolo tie and the piece is ready for sale.