Linda Camilleri has been using dichroic glass to create one-of-a-kind jewellery for the past 10 years.
She showcases and sells her jewellery and other glass ornaments and crockery at Deloraine Creative Studios – a collective of artists and artisans who work co-operatively in a not-for-profit gallery and workspace.
It houses 12 mini gallery spaces where creatives work and exhibit from, alongside travelling exhibitions and training spaces.
“It’s great having this space,” Ms Camilleri said.
“I work from here a couple of days a week and others do the same so that there are people here most of the week.”
She began as a potter but decided to move into glass about 10 years ago, and hasn’t looked back.
“I enjoy glass more than pottery.”
She and her husband Robin moved to Tasmania about five years ago and now live at Longford.
“I came down for the craft fair for a number of years,” Ms Camilleri said. “And my husband’s a fly fisher so this is paradise for him.
“We love it here – it’s the best decision we ever made.”
Each piece of Ms Camilleri’s dichroic glass jewellery is individually designed and handcrafted by her.
She works predominantly in dichroic glass and precious metals, also using gold and silver lustres.
The whole process from start to finish for each piece she creates takes a few days.
“I cut the glass and sandwich pieces together that I want to join,” she said. “That takes about half-an-hour.
“Then firing in the kiln takes eight hours. I put the glass in and have to heat it slowly for about three hours and bring it up to 550 degrees Celsius.
“It then takes 12 to 14 hours to cool before I can open the kiln. If you open it too early, the glass can crack.”
It’s always somewhat of a surprise when Ms Camilleri opens the kiln.
“It can be wonderful or it can be a disaster occasionally.”
The most fiddly part of the process is cutting the small pieces of glass to the right size and shape for earrings to match.
“Some are fired several times. That’s the forgiving thing about glass – you can keep reworking it.”
Dichroic glass is made by using a highly technical vacuum process, which was originally created for the aerospace industry.
Ms Camilleri said vaporised quartz crystal and metal oxides are attached to the surface of glass in a crystal structure consisting of up to 30 layers.
“Dichroic glass filters light so colour can appear to change as the light moves,” she said.
“It also reflects the colours closest to it. No two pieces are quite the same.”