Fordite

Object number

LDVAL 2007.2.1

Date

c 1970

Description

Small piece of enamel known as FORDITE or DAGENHAM AGATE. Produced as a by-product of the car spraying process at the Dagenham Ford Factory during the 1970s. The over sprayed enamels in the painting bays gradually compiled over and over again, on the tracks and skids that the car frames were painted on. Over time, many colourful layers built up there. These layers were hardened repeatedly in the ovens that the car bodies went into to cure the paint. Some of these deeper layers were even baked 100 times. Eventually, the paint build-up would become obstructing, or too thick and heavy, and had to be removed. It was super-cured, patterned like pychedelic agate, and could be cut and polished with relative ease. The techniques that produced this rough are no longer in practice. Cars are now painted by way of an electrostatic process that essentially magnetizes the enamels to the car bodies. This leaves little, or no overspray.

Physical description

Freeform flat cabochon made from layers of various coloured enamels. Colours include metallics in light blue, silver, champagne gold, bronze and blue, and opaques in black yellow, blue, cream, green, orange, red and white. Highly polished. The enamels form a mottled pattern on both sides of the nugget, but the bottom quarter of one side clearly shows the striations of the paint layers.

Condition

Good

Type

Enamel Nugget

Size

Whole length: 37mm
width: 25mm
Depth: 4mm

Collection type

Social history

Alternative reference

Entry Number 1674 (2007-01-17)

Looking for records

Objects that are not on display in the museum can be viewed by appointment at the discretion of the Museum Curator. To find out more about accessing the collection please email: valencehousemuseum@lbbd.gov.uk or telephone: 020 8227 2034

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Gallery

Metadata
Start datec 1970
InstitutionValence House Museum
TypeEnamel Nugget
Collection typeSocial history