Always seeking alternative materials – Le Chien Noir Jewelry

Always seeking alternative materials

alternative materials fordite handmade jewelry leland blue mild steel pinned surfite unique jewelry

Here, at Le Chien Noir Jewelry, I try to work with recycled metals as much as possible. I melt my scraps into ingots that I can roll out and reuse in my jewelry. I also seek out and use some really wonderful recycled materials.

Some of the alternatives I've discovered and love include:

  • Leland blue - cut from beautiful antique slag, a waste product from the smelting process used in the late 1800s by the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company. Here's an example from my shop. 
  • Fordite - cut from built-up layers of dried paint used in painting cars in factories. It becomes colorful stripy cabochons like this.
  • Surfite - colorful striped cabochons hand-cut from the hardened overspill of acrylic in making surfboards. Check out this example.
  • Mild Steel - I started using mild steel a few years ago and absolutely love it! Some of its plusses are that it's lightweight (great for earrings), less pricey than sterling silver and gold, and you can fuse sterling and gold to it for amazing, unpredictable results. Here are some fun earrings I made in steel and gold.

How do you feel about these materials? I'd love to hear from you!

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