My day yesterday was filled with inspiring creative endeavors and I am so excited with what is ahead for the month. The night before last (March 1st) I finally took the time to rinse the pieces of cotton fabric that had been marinating with rusty beach finds in a sturdy plastic bag since late December. This was a bit of an ongoing experiment as I have never gone longer than three weeks with this method but thanks to moving and nesting I lost track of my side project started while still in our rental place. The cotton had been soaked in salt water overnight and then I just wrapped my rusty beach finds in with these fabric pieces. At the end of December I only had about three rusted bits I had found near the pier and on First Beach.
On January 6th our walking group braved a very blustery excursion to the light house. Beth (another fibre artist who moved to Parrsboro in 2020) and I hit the mother load! Into the rusting bag it went!
I kept the bag in a warm area and after two months is realized I better start investigating! The fabric had dried a bit but eventually I was able to separate the fabric and the rusted treasures without too much trouble. A good scour and rinse in the washing machine rewarded me with these glorious fabric pieces:
It was a great start to my day once I pressed the pieces. Ahhh, the possibilities! It set the most positive tone for my first appointment, an artist consultation. I find these consultations very energizing and always come away with new insights. I learn as much as the person asking for input, the best of both worlds. The afternoon was equally exciting with the Virtual Creative Cluster of 10 Canadian fiber artists from coat to coast.
What is a Creative Cluster? And how do you know if it is for you? Well, early on during yesterday’s introductions it became clear that perhaps others would have signed up but felt intimidated and unsure. Our Virtual Creative Cluster is merely a group of like-minded quilters, embroiderers, dyers and printers. It is open to anyone and we welcome any skill level. We gather once a week for about 2 hours to exchange ideas, solve design dilemmas, explore new topics, talk textile art and lend each other support. There is optional homework, some of it are short exercises to boost one’s focus, others will involve exploring some new techniques. We may even dive into a design exercise or two. It all depends on the objectives of the group members. Currently I have four more fibre artists interested in an alternate group due to previous time commitments on Tuesdays. So, if you are interested send me an email and let me know. We can target a starting date for April. The cost is minimal, Can.$25.00 per month (4-5 sessions depending on the month). If evenings work better please communicate that and I will try to come up with a suitable option.
Time to sign off for today. Hope you like the rusted fabrics as much as I do,
Stay safe and stay creative, Anna
Your rusted fabrics are incredible Anna. I did not have much luck the last time I tried but will give it another go
this summer. I have a good source of rusted metal!!!
Don’t give up! I find most people are too impatient. The key is to keep the fabric damp. I often add saltwater with a spray bottle and I never go under three weeks of “marinating”.
When rusting fabric do you have to neutralize the rust process? The designs on the fabric are luscious and creative.
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Yes, Johanna. After the final rinse I add a little washing soda to the rinse water. I find it helps.
Hi Anna, Beautiful rusted fabrics however be aware that rusting can cause adverse changes to the fabric. I found rusted fabric difficult to quilt through, both by machine and hand. In fact it shredded the thread and broke a needle.
Thanks for your note. I am actually not a newby to rusting. This one got away from me and I realize that the fabric may be a bit weak in areas. If you recall, I shared a post sometime last spring where I had created a Japanese style jacket with rusted hemp fabric. That fabric was created four years earlier and has shown absolutely no deterioration.