Mica is the name given to a group of
minerals that are mined and widely used in industry. Common
applications include sheet mica in electric insulation and ground
mica in paint, but mica is also used in products as diverse as
plastics, roofing, cosmetics, and welding rods. It is prized
for its shimmer and luster; in fact, the word "mica" is derived from
the Latin word micare, which means "to shine."
There are roughly 30 different minerals in
the mica group; they come in various colors, from yellows to grays
to browns to white and more. Mica also comes in a number of
different forms, from sheets to flakes to very small particles.
Although it is sometimes used in sheet or
flake form, glass artists tend to use mica in powder form.
Mica does not burn, so it can easily withstand the heat of the kiln.
It does not stick to itself, but if properly applied and fired it
will stick to glass. It can be used as an inclusion or it can
be applied directly on top of a sheet of glass. It can be
sifted, airbrushed, or painted, and can be used alone or combined
with enamels or powders. Mica is one of the most intriguing
and diverse materials in the warm glass artist's toolkit.
here for information about sources for mica.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.