Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rusty. Crusty. Lovely.

 






















I find myself completely intrigued by the eco-dyeing that I’ve been reading about in the blogosphere. I really like the subtle colors and patterns that can be made by dying cloth with natural materials like flowers and leaves. I also like the idea of wrapping up bundles of cloth and then experiencing the thrill of unwrapping them to see what appears. Since we are heading into winter in my part of the world, I will most likely wait until spring to give this technique a try. But in the meantime, I decided to try my hand at rust dyeing instead. From what I can tell, the process is somewhat similar.








































Here’s what you do to make marks on fabric with rust: wrap up some rusty objects in cloth, tie tightly with string, spray generously with vinegar, cover in plastic wrap, wait, unwrap, and marvel at what happens. I have fabric. I have rusty stuff. I have vinegar. The most elusive element is the patience needed to wait for something to happen.







































And when it does—it’s pretty exciting! Downright thrilling, actually. Beautiful rusty marks appear in glorious shades of, well, rust.








































I feel exceptionally proud of this little scrap of muslin that I rusted. I think it’s quite beautiful. But I also realize that the beauty is a result of a chemical reaction that had very little to do with me. Oh sure, I picked out the rusty bits and wrapped them up just so in the cloth. Yes, I sprayed the cloth with my vinegar, tied, and wrapped it again with plastic. I patiently waited an unbearable amount of time to open it up and take a peek. (About three days) I guess I contributed a little bit to the random loveliness that was created. Or maybe I’m just proud of the fact that I tried something new and it turned out better than I imagined it would.




































I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with this little masterpiece, or the ones I’ve made since this one. Most likely, I’ll use it as part of a slow cloth. That’s another art form I’ve been admiring out there in Blogland. I have fabric. I have thread. I could use a little practice in the patience department…

5 comments:

Jacky said...

What a great result...I love the serendipity of dyeing (especially eco-dyeing). Years ago I playing around with this rusting method. I must do it again!!

Can you send me your address again I will pop some eco-dyed pieces in the mail for you. Would be lovely to see some of them in your slow cloth.

Wonderful and I cant wait to see your slow cloth.

Jacky xox

Candace said...

Really interesting designs. Sounds like something I could do, maybe I'll give it a whirl.

Frances Traina said...

Really cool effects ...now I have go do a search on slow cloth! PS thanks for your nice comment on my List It post:))

Jennifer said...

What great results you got. I especially like the bundling marks left behind in the last photo. Opening a rusty bundle is like opening a gift...you just never quite know what's inside until it's opened and everything is emptied out.

If you drink tea, think about adding a touch of it to your next bundle for a little variation of color. Just a thought...

3 wishes studio said...

Awesome I'm inspired to wrap up some of my rusty tonnage and create.