Within the past couple of weeks, we've had tea dyed rust day, mordant day, and faux rust day. This is REAL rust day. No tea, no paint, just rust without the use of tannins or other mordants. In other words, just materials needed for rusting both fabric and paper. Today we focus on rust and more rust. As always, I begin each tutorial with the supplies I will use.
From back left clockwise:
Waterproof or water resistant covering (I used a pink plastic bag) to keep a mess off your work table
Steel wool (fine) found at any hardware or big box home improvement store
Cans, lids, etc. that have sat in water for weeks on end
Fabric (old bed sheet)
Disposable gloves to keep the rust out of your blood system
Pieces of fabric (old bed sheet) cut to start a tear, then torn to size
Rusty cookie sheet enclosed in yet another pink plastic bag.
Make sure you are wearing your gloves before you pick up a rusty piece to measure the fabric. I know some people wonder why I am so adamant about wearing gloves when I handle rust, but the truth is, rust in any form affects the hemoglobin in your blood stream. This is especially true if you have a cut or cat scratch on your hands (HMMM!!).
Hemoglobin is the protein that contains iron found in all red blood cells. It enables red blood cells to bind to oxygen in the lungs and carry it to tissues
and organs throughout the body. Low amounts of hemoglobin can cause anemia which could result in fatigue, paleness, shortness of breath, headaches, and distorted vision, to name a few symptoms. So please, if you do nothing else, or learn nothing else during this tutorial, wear disposable gloves when picking up a rusty piece.
My tin cans and lids have rusted nicely, just as I'd hoped would happen. I don't buy many cans, so this is an accumulation since last summer.
Next I removed my rusty cookie sheet from the bag I keep it in. I am also adamant about keeping my rusty pieces in plastic bags, since I don't want them accidentally rusting other metal I don't want rusted. That's also why I don't keep these rusted metal pieces in my garage.
I began by laying down a piece of copier/printer weight paper on my cookie sheet. I placed a few pieces of rusted metal on top of the paper.
I added a second layer of paper and rusty bits,
then a third layer. I now have cookie sheet, paper, rusty bits, paper, rusty bits, paper, rusty bits. You can see I've already accidentally smeared bits of rust from the rusty bits onto the paper. Just imagine what your hands would look like right now if you weren't wearing gloves!
For my top layer, I placed a few rusty items with threads on the paper. For my final layer, I added a sheet of copier/printer paper (80 lb). I then stuck these in the pink bag.
Next came this rusty piece that I wrapped in the torn bed sheet.
To keep it intact, I also wrapped two pieces of copper wire around the fabric and placed it inside the pink bag.
For my final piece, I took one of my rusty cans
and unraveled one of the steel wool pads I have designated for crafts only.
Now that the steel wool was completely unwrapped and wrapped around the rusty can,
I used my final piece of torn bed sheet and wrapped it around and inside the rusty can.
I had no more copper wire, but I had coated copper wire which began life as part of an old telephone cord (wire).
I wrapped and rewrapped until I was satisfied with the configuration.
I added it to the pink bag and took a photo of all the pieces I intended to rust.
Then I saturated everything well with white vinegar. By the time I was finished saturating, the paper was laying nearly flat against the cookie sheet.
All that was left was to tie the bag shut to keep the moisture in, and WAIT. And wait we shall!
Thanks for visiting today. I hope this hasn't been a disappointment, because rusting fabric OR paper takes time and patience. Since this will be sitting in my cold basement studio, I need more patience than I would normally need if I could take this outside to bake in the sun. Again, thanks for your support of my experiments.
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Art, including the journey, background techniques, new experiments, photos, failures, and successes will be shared on this site. I have removed my e-mail address until such time as I can get it to work again. Thank you for understanding. You can always leave a note on my blog and I will visit you.
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