Today’s show is as close to Earl Scheib has I’ll ever get. “I’ll paint any car and then use the leftovers to make jewelry that sells for $49.95!”
It was today in 1908 that the first production version of the Ford Model T was completed in Detroit.
Cars have changed the entire world, even, in a way, right down to geology.
There’s a substance that looks just like the stuff of colorful jewelry, but it’s actually a byproduct of the automaking process.
It’s known as fordite, aka paintrock, motor agate or even enamel slag.
In the early days of carmaking, factory workers would spray paint the vehicles and then heat them to harden.
Any excess paint left in the factory would dry and harden too – then, when the next car and color came through, another layer. Then another.
Eventually there would be so many layers that anyone who broke off a piece of the dried paint would find a substance that looked like extremely colorful stone.
And along the way stonecutters and jewelers began making earrings, pendants, bracelets and more out of fordite.
There is only so much of it left, though. The process of painting new cars is more high-tech and streamlined now, so paint doesn’t accumulate the way it used to.
Fordite fans say the big challenge now is avoiding imitation materials.
The real stuff, they say, comes from real auto paint sprayed at an actual auto factory, automotive history in colorful, physical form.
And if it’s stunning works of art you’re after, here’s one that lets you become the art, so to speak.
On Make.com, Matt Merkel Hess posted plans for how you can make a special mold of your own face, and then use that to make your own face into a bread bowl.
That’s probably a useful thing to serve if you’re having zombies over,
Your Earrings Remind Me of Grandma’s Gran Torino (New York Times)
Fordite photo by James St. John via Flickr/Creative Commons