Fordite and Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings. Hand-crafted silver and gemstone earrings set in 925 Sterling silver. These are one of a kind (ooak) art. I cut and finished the matching gemstones, then hand forged the metalwork to take advantage of their beauty. These earrings feature locking ear wires
Fordite is not actually a stone. It is also known as Motor Agate, a unique automotive enamel material with an interesting history. It was produced incidentally at the Ford Motor Company. Layered automotive paint slag "rough" was made by the now outmoded practice of hand spray-painting multiples of production cars.
Oversprayed paint in the painting bays gradually built up on the tracks and skids that the car frames were painted on. Over time, many colorful layers built up there. These layers were hardened repeatedly in the ovens that the car bodies went into to cure the paint. Some of these deeper layers were even baked 100 times.
The paint would build-up and become obstructing, and had to be removed. Rock hounds started showing up at auto factories, offering to help remove that problematic paint!
The techniques that produced this great rough years ago, are no longer in used. Cars are now painted by way of an electrostatic process that essentially magnetizes the enamels to the car bodies. This leaves little, or no overspray. All of the Fordite has been removed from the spray booths many years ago. It is now held in private collections, but occasionally some becomes available for cutting into beautiful cabochons. Like many of the natural materials I use to created my jewelry, Fordite is rare and my cabochons are one of a kind.
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