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Fordite, the colorful faux-stone of the Detroit Motor Age

Fordite, also known as Motor Agate or Detroit Agate, is a relic from the old technique for painting cars: spray enamel paint and bake it on, layer after layer, car after car. The resulting overspray on the tracks and skids that carried the cars and parts would build up over time, and eventually need to be removed to allow everything to move smoothly. That enamel waste product is now valued to make colorful jewelry, seen here, here and here. This spray enamel process is outdated, with electro coating (or more formally, electrophoretic deposition) prevailing as a much more efficient process. Sure, it looks modern, but where's the fun in it?
posted by filthy light thief on May 27, 2014 - 43 comments

Viking Knitting: It's not just for Vikings anymore!

The Vikings, pillagers and plunderers that they were, were the possessors of quite a bit of metal that needed to be used in some way. So they made jewelry. By the 8th century they had created a technique that is called trichinopoly or more commonly "Viking knitting", although it is really a type of weaving. If the Viking style of adornment appeals to you, you can learn this technique and make your own Viking-style jewelry. It's less complicated than it looks, and you don't even have to know how to knit in order to learn. You can learn to make a necklace or bracelet like this with this tutorial, or by watching a YouTube video. Once you master the basic technique, you'll be able to start improvising by adding beads and findings and semi-precious stones. It's possible that such jewelry was used as currency on those occasions when the Vikings actually paid for their acquisitions, like some sort of wearable bank account. Ostentatious types, those Vikings, but I suppose when you're known for your ferocity and lawlessness, you don't have to fear being mugged or looking nouveau riche.
posted by orange swan on Apr 3, 2013 - 19 comments

PRINTER IS JAMMED. OPEN DOOR, CLEAR FOOD, THEN PRESS OK.

Looking to print your own house, jewelry or dessert? Then check out Engadget's Consumer Guide to 3D printers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 30, 2013 - 81 comments

tiaras & so much sparkly

It's Tiara Thursday at The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, where each week the provenance & history of a different royal tiara is highlighted. You could start browsing from top 15 readers' favorite tiaras or the top 10 ultimate tiara collection, featuring such sparkly as the Danish Ruby Parure Tiara and the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 3, 2013 - 47 comments

Chicks In Luxury

Petter Lippmann photographs elegant poultry.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 5, 2012 - 27 comments

Fashion for Friday

Remarked by her contemporary Coco Chanel as "That Italian artist who makes clothes" Elsa Schiaparelli (New Yorker - Janet Flanner) bought Surrealism to fashion. She was one of the most influential creators of Parisian haute couture in the era between the two World Wars. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Mar 16, 2012 - 12 comments

Not Quite Stalag 13

Sandusky, Ohio is probably best known for its roller coasters (and maybe the wineries in the area), but one of the most interesting places--a tiny little island in the Sandusky Bay called Johnson's Island--is very often overlooked. Once the home of a prison camp for confederate soldiers, daring (and not so daring) escapes, convoluted espionage schemes, poetry, and eating rats. [more inside]
posted by kittenmarlowe on Jan 4, 2012 - 14 comments

Elizabeth Taylor's jewels huge success at auction

Tuesday at Christie's, Elizabeth Taylor's collection of jewelry brought $115.8 million most of it earmarked for her AIDS and other charities. [more inside]
posted by Anitanola on Dec 14, 2011 - 23 comments

Organic Materials and Esthetic Shapes

Cedric Laquieze is a sculptor specializing in unusual creatures like fairy flowers and goddesses made from organic materials.
posted by netbros on Oct 30, 2011 - 6 comments

Art that grows on you

Melanie Bilenker documents quiet moments in a unique way. Precious metals, ebony and epoxy resin are the canvas, and human hair is the material used to delicately capture life's simpler things. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet on Aug 4, 2011 - 6 comments

Addicted To Pawn

When athletes are in financial trouble, they often go to high end pawn shops to get money.
posted by reenum on Jun 24, 2011 - 27 comments

"We are already experts at lying to ourselves"

Clancy Martin is the chair of the philosophy department at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also an unabashed liar, a recovering alcoholic, and was once suicidal. He's surprisingly honest, and has written extensively about all three of these things. Prior to becoming a professor, he dropped out of grad school, made a small fortune in the murky world of luxury jewelry sales, and nearly became the world's leading dealer of counterfeit Fabergé eggs along the way. He occasionally writes an advice column about lying, and even wrote a few books about it. [more inside]
posted by schmod on Jan 4, 2011 - 29 comments

Look Really Super, Supergirl

Super style simply strikes you? Jeweler nOir teamed up with DC Comics for a line of sparkly Superhero accessories. Wear Gotham city as a ring or just beat Diana at her own game.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 30, 2010 - 33 comments

Enticing beyond measure the eyes of the beholders

On the 18th June 1912 workmen burst through the floorboards of a disused London tenement at 30-32 Cheapside and discovered "Probably the most remarkable find ever recovered from British soil." The stock of an early Stuart goldsmith - the most astonishing array of precious and semi-precious stones from around the world - hidden c.1630, The Cheapside Hoard is the finest collection of Elizabethan jewellery in the world. [more inside]
posted by fire&wings on Aug 28, 2010 - 15 comments

Diplomacy by brooch

In her new book, Read My Pins, Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright reflects on choosing jewelry as a means of sending diplomatic messages.
posted by paulsc on Oct 15, 2009 - 38 comments

Peter Carl Fabergé

Between 1885 and 1917, Peter Carl Fabergé and his assistants created 105 jeweled eggs, only 69 of which survive. They are regarded as masterpieces of the jeweler's art. The Rothschild egg is the most expensive timepiece ever sold at auction.
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 3, 2009 - 59 comments

It's My Scar

Scar Necklaces. When people ask me what my necklace is, I simply say β€œIt’s my scar.” There is something very powerful about celebrating something that to many is ugly, and should be forgotten.
posted by Hildegarde on Apr 6, 2009 - 76 comments

From Hobby To Passion

The magic of beadcraft and jewelry-making, brought to you in four parts by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The results can be purchased from her website, with all the proceeds going to Operation Family Fund, a charity which has raised over $1,700,000 for families of soldiers wounded or killed in the Global War On Terrorism. The series is notable for its complete lack of moralizing or comments on a relevant family controversy-- seriously, this is really just about beads, people!
posted by hermitosis on Feb 23, 2009 - 44 comments

How to steal priceless jewelry: prank call

Theives bypassed all security systems by simply posing as the security company on the phone These days as a robber dealing with high-tech security systems it seems that it's not about being a hacker or having loads of money to pull off a heist, its about making a phone call, having bear spray, and waiting for a guard to go on smoke break. [more inside]
posted by figTree on Jun 4, 2008 - 42 comments

Maria Theresa Thalers

The Maria Theresa Thaler (or MTT), a coin first minted in 1741 and continuously to this day, remained legal tender in parts of the Arabian peninsula as late as 1970, where it was much prized both as a coin and for jewelry [magazine article] Incredibly important for trade between Europe and the Middle East, the MTT had a great impact on history. For more information turn to Maria Theresa's Thaler: A case of international money an indepth article about the MTT by Adrian Tschoegl.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 8, 2008 - 10 comments

She don't... What now?

You talked to her father, prepared a YouTube worthy proposal, gathered all your courage.... and she said no. How will your life go on? And what are you going to do with the ring? Enter I Do... Now I Don't, an auction site that caters to broken-hearted lovers such as you. Started by a fellow who has been there. Buy if you dare. Via
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Feb 26, 2008 - 19 comments

Let the holiday shopping begin.

Scientific esthetics- Made With Molecules. Some classy, some trashy, and some just plain cute. [more inside]
posted by sunshinesky on Nov 19, 2007 - 9 comments

stretchable electronics

Electronic, animated tattoos [scroll down to video, which is nsfw]. The latest body jewelry, Skintile Electronic Sensing Jewelry. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 24, 2007 - 47 comments

Hairy Mementos

Things Gone By is an antique jewelry dealer specializing in the category of "mourning jewelry"; items worn in memory of the dead, usually involving locks of their hair & other materials. The mourning items are not limited to jewelry, as they also feature a gallery of mourning artwork, again made with the hair of the beloved deceased.
posted by jonson on Jul 9, 2007 - 10 comments

The Carrotbox - a site about rings

Grass rings, lace rings, rock rings, bunny rings...The Carrotbox has month after month of posts about odd and unusual rings. Alice is allergic to metal so focuses in her own collection on "glass, lucite, resin, plastic, jade, wood, bakelite and even stone β€” anything, as long as it's not metal!" She even provides a timeline of plastic history. [via FunForever]
posted by mediareport on Jun 18, 2007 - 19 comments

all dolled up

Surreal Barbie and Ken jewelry art by Margaux Lange. Previously (but her work and site have evolved since then). While in China, voodoo dolls have been banned and immediately became a jewelry/accessory craze.
posted by nickyskye on Feb 6, 2007 - 20 comments

Creepy Jewelry

Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Brooch. These insects come in varied patterns and are decorated with the finest Austrian Swarovski crystal... All roaches are male to ensure sterility, and come complete with a leash set. People step on these things or feed them to other animals. We're giving them this really fabulous, beautiful life. Allegedly inspired by a joke. Product specimen shown in action here.
posted by brain_drain on Oct 11, 2006 - 28 comments

No rest for the dead...

My post-mortem to-do checklist, so far: 1. Study marine biology. 2. Accessorize my hot, wealthy widow. 3. Relay a few spooky telegrams to my spooky new friends. 4. Try to look as suspicious as possible. And that's even before rigor mortis sets in!
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 8, 2006 - 37 comments

Nanogoose

On the heels of microscopic jewelry rides golden buckyballs (full text).
posted by Mr. Six on Jun 1, 2006 - 11 comments

see it while it lasts

The Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver has an extensive online gallery featuring Artist Biographies and inspiration for many of the pieces. It focuses on First Nations art, sculpture, and jewelry from the Inuit, Northwest Coast nations, Canadian Plains nations, and the Maori. Some of these communities have a new lease on life due to the income from this market, while others are dying out and skills are being forgotten. Some favourites: Dog Team: Jobie Crow from Umiujaq, Summer Solstice: Pitaloosie Saila from Cape Dorset, Raven Releasing Salmon Transformation Mask: Tom Hunt of the Kwak-waka'wakw. (scroll sideways)
posted by heatherann on Sep 16, 2005 - 6 comments

Barbie Deconstructed

Breast brooches and butt bracelets: Barbie bits as jewelry. More here.
posted by Orb on Jun 20, 2005 - 22 comments

Biojewelry

Biojewelry : Now you and your betrothed can exhange ring made of bone. Your own bone. I, for one, welcome the day when consumer biotech makes our lives.....weirder. (Some pics not safe for the squeamish.)
posted by gnutron on Feb 25, 2005 - 15 comments

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

JewelEye. A jewel that is placed inside your eye. Ooch. [Webpage is slow because it contains two huge pictures.]
posted by kika on Dec 23, 2004 - 57 comments

Brother from another planet.

ArtFilter: Scottrohedron raps and wraps.
posted by mic stand on Nov 29, 2004 - 5 comments

Gay-rights pioneer says he stole jewellery, blames inner demons

The 'nightmare' fall of Svend Robinson: Canada's first openly gay MP threw his career into doubt yesterday with a shocking revelation that he had stolen a piece of jewellery last weekend.
posted by timeistight on Apr 16, 2004 - 79 comments

I Like Ancient People

Oldest Jewelry Discovered In African Cave At least 75,000 years old, the find suggests that early humans had a complex sense of symbolism.
posted by mcgraw on Apr 16, 2004 - 8 comments

New Jewelry Choices

Eyeball Jewelry This just caught my eye (Sorry!). It's jewelry that is implanted INTO your EYE! I think this is pretty cool and another milestone in body modding. Discuss how long until Georgia legislators ban this.
posted by Fantt on Apr 7, 2004 - 21 comments

No, Shamey on you!!

Bob Shamey is a jewelry maker who carves small things into smaller things, including toothpicks & seeds.
posted by jonson on Feb 25, 2004 - 2 comments

Bling Bling!

Our vision is to serve all your iced out hip hop jewelry needs. At GangstaGold we offer you the finest quality hip hop jewels and watches, no gimmicks or tricks, at the right price.
posted by starscream on Aug 1, 2003 - 11 comments

Tragedy as tacky jewelry

Hold the beauty of life in the palm of your hand. The owners of this website create dolls based on medical photos and records of "micropreemies" (or, to the more traditional, miscarried fetuses). They will create a doll at cost for a grieving parent, and encourage their dolls' use for pro-life purposes. Am I the only one who finds it creepy to wear your miscarried child as a lapel pin?
posted by ferociouskitty on May 12, 2003 - 34 comments

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