Dee Wilder educates and delights us at the same time with her polymer faux Fordite rings.

In big automotive factories, the overspray in the painting bays used to build up on surrounding surfaces. The layers of paint were baked as many as 100 times in the ovens where car bodies were cured. Paint build-up had to be removed from time to time.

Workers (and then collectors) salvaged the colorful layered byproduct, calling it Fordite or Detroit Agate.

No more Fordite. Cars are now painted using a process that produces no overspray. Then came Dee Wilder and her polymer clay experiments. Dee has mastered this bit of trickery. There are many more tricks on her dense and rich Flickr site. What will she think of next?

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  • reply claire maunsell ,

    So glad to see these here because I love them…great work Dee!

    • reply Heidi Farrow ,

      This was a fascinating story. I had never heard of Fordite and now that I know what it is, you mimicked it perfectly Dee!

      • reply Georgia Morgan ,

        Anyone who’s ever tried this knows how much patience it takes. Kudos to Dee!

        • reply Carol Dean Sharpe ,

          I’m the proud owner of several of Dee’s jewelry pieces…and many of her beads…and am always amazed by her talent.

          • reply jana ,

            Dee is an uninhibited experimenter..I love that. Always enjoy seeing what she’s come up with….way to go, Dee!

            • reply Roberta Warshaw ,

              I have been following Dee’s work for a few years now and she never, ever ceases to amaze me. Her work is so well crafted, and diverse. It seems she can do anything with the clay. She is truly an inspiration. Thank you for featuring her today!

              • reply Dee Wilder ,

                Thank you, Cynthia, for another flattering post. The first time I saw a piece of Fordite, I knew it was ripe for a polymer try. It is very expensive, and some have done faux versions with paints. I think polymer is the way to go–and it is easy and obvious. I hope others will give it a spin.

                • reply doreen kassel ,

                  I met Dee in the sub zero weather of Vermont. I love her experimentation, I love watching her rings emerge! She also has great Jack Russell’s.

                  • reply Dee Wilder ,

                    That sub-zero weather in Vermont shaped my polymer career. Kathleen Dustin told me that if I wanted to experiment and loved it THAT was the path I should follow. I never forgot her advice.

                    • reply Jenn Oates ,

                      I’ve never heard of fordite, but I’ve made pieces with thin PC layers like this. Awesome! Now I want to do some more!

                      • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

                        When I saw this I was–wahhh? What the heck is Fordite? (Even though I loved the complex layers of color regardless); after reading about the stuff, I was even more impressed with Dee’s innovation–and now determined to try my hand at it. I have looked at some of the uber expensive samples of the stuff out there, and yes, it begs to be reproduced in polymer clay. Thank you Dee for busting open that envelope yet again.

                        • reply Lynn Lunger ,

                          Love these! What a fantastic translation! I’ve admired Fordite in the past and these elicit the same “Oh cool!” response. Great work!

                          • reply JeannieK ,

                            They make me dizzy looking at them…in a good way.

                            • reply Sera ,

                              Dee Wilder is truly one of the polymer Queens of our generation. Everything she produces is just awesome. I never tire of looking at her latest work. Who else would have ever come up with Faux FORDITE???? LOL!

                              • reply What is Fordite? | Jewelry Making Blog | Information | Education | Videos ,

                                […] Automobiles are no longer painted in this way today, because the painting process is automated and the chassis charged to attract the paint molecules, so there is virtually no waste. Because of this, Fordite is a finite material that is quickly running out, but what a great piece of automotive history! (PS: if you dabble in polymer clay, check out Dee Wilder’s faux fordite here!) […]

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                                • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

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