Transformation – from Waste to Wonder

If you’ve been ruminating about recycling, pondering re-purposing, or musing about re-using – then cogitate on this.

Paint, Resin, and Slag

This week’s update is about beautiful garbage.

First up, Fordite. Most of you will have heard of Fordite – it has been around for a while now. Fordite is the accumulated over-spray from the spray paint booths where cars are painted. It accumulates, is baked hard with the process of curing, and every once in a while, it is chipped off the walls and discarded in chunks.

Here we have – Fordite, variety – Corvette. Now bear with me, I know that Ford does not, did not, and will not make Corvettes, but Fordite has become the generic name for the paint accumulation cabochons that we have found, regardless of the actual manufacturer. (Although, I have heard “Detroit Stone” as well.) There’s a silvery sparkle in here that certainly is reminiscent of a certain corvette stingray I might have lusted after at one time.

s63995 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform  - Fordite - Corvette s63996 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Heart - Fordite - Corvette s63997 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Tear Drop - Fordite - Corvette s63998 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Eye - Fordite - Corvette

Here is some non-Corvette Fordite, and we think that this might be more recent in origin. It has a slight lingering odor still, that some here feel is a little plasticky, and others (me) think is slightly mushroomy. It’s odd, but whether is bothers you is a matter of taste.

s63978 OOAK Cabochon -  Tear Drop - Fordite s63980 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Oval - Fordite s63984 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Tear Drop - Fordite s63981 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Oval - Fordite
s63986 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform  - Fordite s63988 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform  - Fordite s63991 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform  - Fordite s63987 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform  - Fordite

How about some Surfite? Not made from surfboards, as you might guess, but from the resin overflow from the process of making them. Epoxy resin is poured over the surfboard in the manufacturing process, to get that rich, glossy look, and flows over the edge and drips to the floor, where it accumulates and hardens. Again, every once in a while, someone chips it up, and discards it, and an enterprising person scoops it up and makes these wonderful cabochons.

s63974 OOAK Cabochon -  Tear Drop - Surfite s63975 OOAK Cabochon -  Rounded Rectangle - Surfite s63976 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform - Surfite s63977 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform - Surfite

Or, perhaps some Rosarita? An exotic sounding name that evokes Spain and sloe-eyed beauties. But Rosarita is, in fact, the by-product of the 60’s gold mining industry in Alaska. Gold-infused sand was melted to extract the gold, and the by-product of that is melted sand with trace amounts of gold. Melted sand, of course, gives you glass, and adding gold gives you colors ranging from pink to red to brown to purple. (Which is why Cranberry pink glass is $50 a pound and regular clear glass is $8 a pound – Lampworker’s Note.) Modern gold extraction techniques don’t leave enough gold in the melted by-product to produce color, so the supply of this is limited.

s63999 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Cushion - Rosarita s64001 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Triangle - Rosarita s64002 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Triangle - Matte Rosarita s64004 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform - Rosarita

In much the same way, Leland Blue is another limited source by-product of iron smelting. From 1875, for a mere 25 years, iron ore was smelted into pig iron, until they ran out of the local wood supplies required in huge amounts to fuel this process. This unique “foundry glass” was a by-product, which was then dumped into the lake. Now it washes up from time to time along the shore. The holes are the results of air bubbles trapped in the material.

s64005 OOAK Cabochon -  Heart - Leland Blue s64006 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Shield - Leland Blue s64009 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Shield - Leland Blue
s64007 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Kite - Leland Blue s64010 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Tooth - Leland Blue s64011 OOAK Cabochon -  Freeform Tooth - Leland Blue

Which leaves me wondering? Is the current trend in pouring acrylics and resins going to produce a new wave of resinous, layered artifacts, just waiting for some enterprising person to re-purpose those? Hmmmm.

Check out these wonderful waste products in our Cabochons category. Because truly, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Don’t forget to browse through the Manager Specials – some pretty good deals there!


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