Nissan Fordite Earrings, Detroit Agate, Motor City
This rare, one of a kind vintage Fordite pair of stones comes from the Nissan factory in Tennessee. They are prong-set and soldered in sterling silver onto a wire base, with hand-formed sterling silver ear wires. The Fordite stone's colors and striped pattern are beautiful and unique, with hues of black, metallic silver, and yellow. Completely handmade in my Chicago studio and one of a kind; this is a stunning pair of earrings.
Fordite, also known as Detroit agate, is old automobile paint which has hardened sufficiently to be cut and polished. It was formed from the built up of layers of enamel paint slag on tracks and skids on which cars were hand spray-painted (a now automated process), which have been baked numerous times. As the story goes, some crafty workers with an eye for beauty realized that this unique byproduct was worth salvaging. It was super-cured, patterned like psychedelic agate, and could be cut and polished like stone. Sadly, the techniques that produced it years ago are no longer in common use. Cars are now painted by way of an electrostatic process that essentially magnetizes the enamels to the car bodies. This leaves little overspray. The old factory methods that created a bounty of this incredible material are long gone.
Earrings measure 1/2" at widest point, and 2 1/4" high.