Wire Sculpted

by Bob Keil.
(Stone Grafix)

14 Carat rolled gold wire sculpted african agate.

This is a shot of a project that flowed for me. I’ve btried doing it again but a similar sized piece came out differently. my hands took over and it came out differently.


argentium sterling silver wire sculpted piece of Fordite.

This is done with 14 carat rolled gold wire sculpted piece of african agate. The stone is 30 mm x 40 mm.
Bob Keil

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  1. Very nice work, Bob! I recognized the Fordite as soon as I saw it – I’ve always been fascinated with it!

    I also like how you photographed your pieces here. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Patricia Gossett says:

    Very beautiful pieces, I am learning wire wrapping and WOW!! those are some gorgeous pieces !!! one day I might be as good as you…LOL who know’s, but I love them!!!!

  3. I really like the wrapping on this first pendant – is this the Fordite Rena mentioned? I’m not familiar with that stone so please forgive my ignorance. The second pendant is more ornate but lovely in its’ own right. I totally understand how things just turn out differently when you attempt to duplicate them. That is the nature of handmade, one of a kind, jewelry and what makes each piece unique. Both pieces are beautiful!

  4. Hi Zoraida,

    The second photo is the Fordite.

    Fordite is actually a manmade product that was an accidental discovery – and it’s no longer being created. Here’s the quick story of it – I think it’s a fascinating bit of history:

    When automobiles were painted on an assembly line during most of the 20th century, the overspray of the enamel paint would land on surfaces inside the auto factory.

    Over time, layer after layer of paint in different colors built up inside the factory (kind of like the natural strata layers we see in rocks).

    Whenever the layers of car paint got thick enough to be an obstruction, the auto factory would have the excess paint removed from the factory surfaces – and all the fascinating layers of paint color could be seen.

    At some point, a clever artistic person realized these chunks of layered auto paint could be cut and polished, and used as cabochons.

    And in honor of their automotive roots, these wild, wonderful cabochons became known as “Fordite” (also sometimes called “Detroit agate” or “motor agate”).

    Nowadays auto factories use a different method for painting cars, so there’s very little paint overspray to build up. So “Fordite” is no longer being created.

    If you take another look at Bob’s second pendant above, you’ll clearly see the layers of automotive paint that made up this vividly colored cabochon!

  5. Ah! I do remember reading something on Fordite somewhere. Please excuse me for not remembering that. I found that article fascinating. How amazing that something so mundane and commercial could produce a materials as appealing as this! It will probably be cherished as much as Goldstone, ( maybe more since it’s not being manufactured anymore). Perhaps we should be hoarding this? Thanks for the info, Rena!

  6. Love the “Fordite”. Almost makes me want to get a plastic box and dribble car paint in layers of colors and make my own.

    Bob, I love doing the universal wrap and use it a lot for my pieces. No two will come out alike and that is the beauty of it. You have done a great job.

  7. Bob! What beautiful work! I have not seen anything like it before! I agree with Rena also, beautiful photography. I like your display method, is this a set up for a show? Very clean looking allowing all the focus to be on those beautiful pendants!

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