James Blanchard (not the former Governor) makes jewelry from Fordite (aka “Detroit Agate”), a substance taken from the spray booth at the Ford River Rouge plant in the 1970s. Chunks of layered automotive paint were painstakingly scraped from the conveyor, then cut and polished into gems.
Patterns emerge from the Fordite depending on the angle of the cut or depth of the polishing. Since technology has replaced the spray booth, the Fordite “mines” are dry.
You can see a lot more work from James Blanchard right here and see work from many more artists at Gallery Fifty. Note: I spent a good deal of time a Gallery 50 (located in Building 50 in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons) last weekend and was really impressed with the range of their selection.