Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Playing with Rusty Objects

I didn't just dye fabric while I was in Grand Junction in June- I started a nice collection of rusty stuff.  My friend Susan gave me some extras she had, and then we also went to a metal junkyard.  Piles and piles of large rusty objects, and bins and bins of small rusty objects!  I spent five bucks, and got more cool rusty stuff- like this. . 


I have circles in several sizes. some rectangles with neat texture, big bolts- and this is just the small stuff.  I also have a couple of large pieces with nice texture.  The pan I requisitioned from the kitchen- better it should be allowed to rust away than hold food anymore!

Sunday night I soaked a one yard piece of cotton, several smaller scraps, and a silk scarf in vinegar.  Then they got wrapped in different rusty stuff, left in a black plastic bag, and kept moist for about twenty-four hours.  I also sat the pan on top of the smaller fabric pieces, so they were getting rusty from both sides.

Last night I soaked them in salt water to halt the process, and tonight I washed them.  Here's what I have--


The silk scarf--


The larger piece of cotton, which will be further rusted before I'm done, and


the smaller pieces of cotton.  At least two of these are going to end up as smaller, matted pieces.

This is definitely fun, and something I will play with further.  My mind is already figuring out how to best enhance the designs on these small bits of cotton.

What I can't figure is why I have to go all the way to Colorado to get rusty metal.  I have never seen a metal junkyard here, despite the fact we had a steel mill a few miles up the road until a few years ago.  I guess I need to cultivate a few farmers around here to keep my rusty stockpile supplied.  And, contrary to what my dear BIL told me, apparently it isn't too dry here to grow rust!

4 comments:

Ruth Anne Olson said...

I find rusty things here and there, but not so interesting as theses. Great results. I didn't know abut the salt water soak.

Rayna said...

I find rust interesting but have never loved it on my own fabrics. These are pretty cool!

Rian said...

What an interesting concept! I have a cookie tin in the garage that holds a plethora of rusty screws, nails and bolts. They are so rusty I don't know why we still have the tin. I think I'll see what I can come up with.

Lois Jarvis said...

When people find you are a rust dyer they will start to give you rusty items. The same way fabric is given to quilters. You could also walk around the steel mills or railroad tracks.