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Cadillac Ranch paint chips transformed into accessories

The jewelry starts out as an ordinary paint chip, but after hours of buffering and cutting it's transformed into a work of art (ABC 7 News- Kayla Conboy)

Amarillo has a new jewelry trend: a piece of Cadillac Ranch you can wear. Artist Crocodile Lile said he was inspired by the beauty of the landmark, and after some trial and error an accessory line was born.

"As artists we like to make things different," Lile said. "We like to push the envelope and see what the world has to offer."

Lile said every year thousands will leave their mark on the Cadillacs. While some just see layers of graffiti, he sees 40 years of history waiting to be transformed.

"It starts as an ordinary paint chip," Lile said. "Then I buffer it down until I find a color pattern I like, cut it to fit the shape I want and seal it."

The Route 66 enthusiast said he got the idea from a man in Michigan who started making jewelry from old paint at a Ford plant. He said the lightbulb couldn't have come on at a better time as debt started piling up from his Lile Art Gallery, located on Historic Route 66.

"It takes a lot of time because I work on multiple pieces at once," Lile said. "I can't do one at a time or I'd go crazy.

He said in a way the jewelry saved his shop. While it's time consuming to make, every piece is unique and tells a different story.

"It's fun to do because you never know what you're going to get," Lile said. "I get every color under the rainbow and sometimes after three or four hours of working on it, it turns ugly and I have to throw it away. That's the nature of the beast though, that's life."

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