Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tea time

It probably seems like all I've been doing in the studio this week is shuffling around rusted squares, trying to fit the puzzle pieces together correctly so that they'll stop laughing at me and finally share their stories with me. That assumption is right...and then not.

Do you remember tea time? I've had to start naming the fabrics so that I can keep them straight.

The last post on this piece ended with me deciding to go back in and add more lines/stripes. 

And that was done. Monday morning (above left) it was opened and looked pretty good. Then I decided to hang it outside to 20-something degree weather. Obviously my brain was experiencing a freeze of its own because that is exactly what had happened to the fabric when I went out later to see if it was dry. (above right)

Yes. It was frozen. In one big sheet of the line even. Oh! The laughter can be heard, even via cyber space. I know who's laughing...and who's wondering if she should try this rusting method to see what results she gets. Or perhaps she's already tried?

Detail and color that is so lovely and vivid when wet gets lost in the drying, I know, but lines had totally disappeared as had the purple/black from the tea. Still wanting at least one strong stripe, I painted in a line of tea/vinegar, placed two rusted rectangles, re-bundled it, let it set for 24 hours, then repeated the process the next morning. 

An unexpected...certainly unthought of...thing resulted from painting the line with such a thin mixture. It bled. And in a most wonderful way. See the hard edged wavy line the left? That's it.

The lines and stripes that I'd wanted are there. Different, unplanned and much better. A bit of rusty serendipity, if you please.

Hanging tea time and viewing it this way immediately brought to mind cave paintings. From tea time to the relic in one stroke of serendipity. What do you see in this piece? What stories is it telling you?


  1. I am seeing cave dwellings
    southwestern US or maybe Mali
    also map-like,
    water wells markers, woogity fences,
    the verticals read as brick paths...
    just fabulous Jennifer!
    so rich
    love the process
    and your discoveries...
    can't wait
    to get rusting again
    when January slows things down...

    xox - eb.

  2. Hi Jennifer I am way behind...but I do love the soft grey in this piece; and how the painting left such a nice tide line. It is beautiful...

  3. Loving the rust - I have become obsessed with it myself!!

    1. Careful Bonnie - rust easily seduces one into becoming a rust junkie. Then again, there are a lot of us out there so you'll have plenty of company. May I ask how you found me? This is quite an old post. Enjoy!

  4. Hi i am textiles student. I really enjoy your works they are very amazing! I currently doing the project called Urban Decay and this rusty seem relate to my project. I would be truly appreciate if you could tell me how to create this effect on fabric. Thank you in advanced! :)

    1. Thank you for your interest in my rust work. Urban Decay sounds like a very interesting project to work on and rust certainly would relate to it. I gained the effect on this cloth through a lot of experimentation and play with rusty bits and cloth to find what worked best for me. Enjoy.

  5. good day. have just begun rusting a few pieces of cotton. And am interested in mixing it w/ tea. is there any way that the tea will not was out. or the rust stains for that matter also. thanks. jean


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