A couple months ago, the lovely Patti Vanderbloemen gifted me an amazing, weird hunk of Fordite. What is Fordite you ask??? Let me explain:
Fordite is paint. Layers and layers of automotive paint. True Fordite is found at...you guessed it...Ford plants. It is the overspray that builds up when cars are painted in the factory. Imagine, hundreds--THOUSANDS--of cars getting painted weekly in Ford factories. The spray booths end up with a ton of overspray over time. This stuff is broken off in hunks and was, until fairly recently, thrown away. Then us artists got our hands on it. A rough hunk of Fordite can be cut and polished like rock. Beautiful, striated, colorful rock made of PAINT!
|A rough hunk of Fordite. See the layers of paint??? Cool!|
I had heard of Fordite and seen it used in jewelry, but had never actually purchased or come in contact with any myself--until Patti sent me a nugget! The moment I held it, I was hooked. It's so COOL! I created the pendant you see here--I loved the unusual shape of the nugget--the paint is so reflective and bright! I love the stuff. Since then I have lurked online, hoping to score more Fordite cabs, and finally hit the jackpot last week. I purchased some amazing Fordite from lapidary artist Bob Caveglia (look him up on Facebook--he has some great rocks and stuff!!!). I just got it and am itching to create with it. I immediately made the ring you see here. Every piece is different, and sometimes it's hard to decide which side of the cab to use. Both sides of each cab are so beautiful and different.
|Pendant made using Fordite from Patti, a ring made using Fordite from Bob Caveglia.|
|Three more cabs I purchased from Bob, waiting for me to play....|
David Vance Horste is another lapidary artist whose work I
"There STILL is Fordite and there still is overspray. I started selling Fordite on eBay in 2000 and the story has changed since then. There still IS over spray but there is a LOT less of it, and the older stuff does tend to be better. The spray booth doesn't have to be closed, they break this stuff off and throw it away during regular maintenance. Very few people can actually tell contemporary Fordite from vintage and it generally doesn't make much difference, although hardness, polish, and sparkle matter no matter what the age.
As for rainbow cal silica, I remember when the folks at Colbaugh Processing first started selling it and at first they tried to tell folks it was natural. Then I started hearing that it came from the settling bond of a Mexican tile manufacturer. I'm pretty convinced that the folks at Colbaugh who sell it also make it. They run the Kingman mine in Arizona and stabilize lots of turquoise in addition to making lots of reconstituted stuff in a variety of colors. Their rough rainbow cal-silica has gotten a lot more uniform and linear over the years and the rough is in brick form now. When I first saw it the rough was at least in layers that evoked some natural formations. So my vote for rainbow cal silica is that it's intentionally made from reconstituted rocks whereas Fordite is accidentally made from paint overspray."
|A rough hunk of rainbow cal silica. Definitely manufactured.|
David also works with bowlerite--cabs cut from BOWLING BALLS. Yes, definitely set aside a couple hours to look at his stuff. Your welcome.
I love working with new materials and love artists that think outside the conventional jewelry box bringing us unusual materials to use! To the first artist that cut a hunk of Fordite into a cab--THANK YOU!
Do you love working with unusual materials? If so, please share what you've created. I think it's great to venture outside your comfort zone, experiment, and play with new toys. It's how we expand and grow as artists!!! Show me your toys!
Now, go make something AMAZING!