the allure of rust

Sometimes simple things, like rusty and old objects intrigue me. I love the reddish-brown coating that forms on the surface of iron when exposed to moisture and oxygen in the air, causing it to rust. I find them in various places;  junkyard, thrift stores, or from friend’s throwaways.

I already have a small collection in the garden. Some I displayed alongside with my plants and flowers in the garden. It serves two purposes for me–one is I want it to rust even more, and secondly, they make a nice garden decorations.

This silk scarf was made by first soaking the silk fabric in vinegar, then rusty objects were inserted between the concertina folds of the fabric. Next, I bound it tightly with wires and strings before I put inside a container of my ready-made dye solution of (cochineal/madder). I left it to soak until the fabric has completely absorbed most of the dye. Then I removed the bundle and placed it in a plastic bag and left it out in the sun to rust further.

blueish, grey and umber background was the results of color shifting from vinegar in cochineal/madder. The design and color depicts variation and amorphorus of forms that swirls freely on the fabric, giving it a feel and sense of fluidity.

prints from chain link and migration of rust in greyish blue and umber background

print from tin can, resembles dripping paint on water

moment of joy–unfolding!

a pair of antique 1900’s milk cans

rusty gold pan, copper mug, pots, and hand mold for rubber gloves

*Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melinda Tai and Obovate Designs with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you for visiting, I welcome all your comments.

“A smile is worth a thousand words, live happy, dye happiest.”

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8 Responses to the allure of rust

  1. I love rusty objects too!
    The scarf is lovely!! Very elegant looking.


  2. Margo Duke says:

    I love your fabric! I love rusty bits too and experimenting bundling fabric but I’ve read that over time rust damages the silk 😦


  3. Kristin says:

    Very intriguing! It looks like a world viewed through water.


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