Friday, September 5, 2014

Playing with rust...

And then there was rust...

Have you ever done something peculiar for a very long time and you thought you knew why but later realized for REAL why you do this thing?  So for years, I've collected rusty objects.  What am I saying?!  For many, many years I have collected all sorts of objects!  A friend once teased me saying, "You will pick up anything a crow!"  I responded, "It doesn't HAVE to be shiny!" In art school, we had little cubby holes for mail and friends would leave rusted nails in there for me as gifts.

I've bent over in the middle of the street to pick up a rusty bit of metal, and I once jumped out of my truck in the middle of an intersection to pick up a flattened, rusty muffler pipe.  It was beautiful, and I had to have it.  It hangs over the doorway of my kitchen, like the severed arm of Grendel hanging above the mead hall door, an oxidized trophy.
Currently, I've been reading India Flint's "Eco Colour" book on natural dye processes.  It's a wonderful mix of artistic eye candy and fascinating chemistry.  I now understand why red wine turns blue when you wash your glass out in the sink...the pH of the water. 

The pictures above and below represent some of the experiments I've been doing with watercolor paper or muslin, vinegar and ferrous bits such as washers and steel wool.  Finally, a real purpose for all those rusty things I've collected over the years that I just couldn't part with.  Every *dangerous* stop in the middle of the road...validated!

No longer do I compost red cabbage bits either...they make excellent blue streaks.  After I allowed my paper to rust, I "overdyed" it with the red cabbage.  Now my mind wonders...what else can I do this to?  My muslin clothes...

And black tea...the lovely dark speckles above are from some really old decaf English Breakfast tea that didn't taste that great, but made a rich dye.   Basically, the possibilities are endless.  Too bad my time to play is not.  Maybe I'll have more time now that it's cold and tomatoes will probably just crack and *explode* and I won't be making sauce or salsa!

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