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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.

Click here for information about sources for mica.


Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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