What an amazing year it has been! I introduced my “Fordite” jewelry at the ArtFest of Scottsdale last November. Fordite is an automobile paint that built up on the tracks of the automobile plant when the cars were being painted. Over time, the paints become troublesome and had to be removed. The layers of colors were so intriguing that some of the workers kept the material. Later the pieces were cut into “stones” for jewelry.
I had only a few pieces but the response was tremendous! The public was very intrigued by the pieces and the first person who bought a piece of jewelry with the Fordite (also called Detroit Agate) said “Thank you for taking the time to come up with something so original!”. All of the pendant pieces I did sold at that show.
I received a lot of leads for publicity from that art show and later ended up being interviewed on “Good Morning Arizona” and “Your Life A to Z”. I also did a couple of newspaper interviews and two gallery showings as well. I met several people who worked in the automobile plants during the time that the paint build up happened. They all had stories to tell. I met people who remember their parents or grandparent bringing the stuff home for them to play with. I met enthusiastic car collectors who spent a lot of time guessing what car model this or that color was from.
I have been working with Fordite that dates back to the late 1960s from the River Rouge plant in Detroit. I also work with Fordite that was created by auto paint manufacturing – basically a byproduct of the automotive paint industry. All of the Fordite I use is the American variety, though I am introducing new work with a British variety that originated from the 1970s in a Ford plant in Dagenham, England. This variety is nicknamed Dagenham Agate and has metallic colors swirled through it.
You can reach Heather Munion at her studio in Peoria, Arizona at 623-572-0554, or online at www.naturallystonedjewelry.com