Unicorne Gifts was established in 1967 in Chicago, IL. In the beginning, our company started the business in creating quality hand crafted gifts and collectibles. With over 40 years of experience with creating glass figurines, we changed our company niche to making hand crafted glass beads for the beading industry. Today, we have over 50 different bead styles that are distributed throughout the United States, Canada, Australia & Europe. Our company is now known as Unicorne Beads, Inc. Our headquarters is located in Placentia, California, USA or one hour south of Los Angeles.
Unicorne Beads are individually designed by our network of highly skilled glassblowers. These beads are fashioned in a torch flame by a process called "lampworking”. Only the finest imported glass from Europe and the United States are used in producing our beads. Most of the colors of our beads are custom mixed. Each bead is carefully made and annealed in a kiln at over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit which makes for a stronger more durable bead. The higher temperatures are also responsible for the rich natural colors characteristic of Unicorne glass beads. Many of our shapes come from customer suggestions.
Originally created for the Aerospace industry, dichroic chips are incorporated in many of our glass beads. The brilliant optical properties of dichroic glass are the result of multiple micro-layers of metal oxides. These thin layers of oxides have a total thickness of three to five millionths of an inch. NASA developed dichroic glass for use in face shields in space suits. Multiple ultra-thin layers of different metals (gold, silver, titanium, chromium, aluminum, zirconium, magnesium, silicon) are applied to the surface of the glass. The glass is then kiln fired at extreme temperatures in a vacuum. The resulting plate of dichroic glass can then be fused with other glass in multiple firings. Certain wavelengths of light will either pass through or be reflected, causing an array of color to be visible. Due to variations in the firing process, individual results can never be exactly reproduced. Each piece of fused dichroic glass is unique and no two pieces are alike. The main characteristic of Dichroic Glass is that it has a transmitted color and a completely different reflective color. Furthermore, these two colors shift depending on angle of view. With the play of light together with its vibrant color, dichroic glass is a prime tool used to add interest to any piece of work or project.