Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rusted fabric scrolls in the making

I was playing in the studio with a beautiful old metal container a few weeks ago and thought how perfectly some paper scrolls would sit within it. I made some, and thought I'd encaustic them to give them some rigidity. And then I didn't really like they way they worked.

I started pondering rusted fabric scrolls and set about wrapping some muslin strips around rusty bits from Barry's rust pile , tied them up with string and soaked them in vinegar for a few weeks. Well, basically I forgot about them so that was a good thing - they got to rust well!

I took them out recently and left them to soak in the rain to wash some of the vinegar away.  Here they are post-unwrapping and draining.

Just what will happen next I'm not sure - I think there will be stitching; but beyond that is yet to be revealed to me.

Here they are hanging on our trusty furniture trolley - used mostly for moving Barry's large logs and sculptures and posts around the block! In the background his workbench, the rusty bits, some pumpkins and general 'junk' that will often become beautiful art.

A couple of close ups of the strips as they hung on the trolley handles...I like that the rust has really worn thru the fabric in parts; there is a sense of decay and disintegration happening.

Looking an awful lot like the snakeskin we discovered a few weeks ago; here they are lying in the rain on our driveway soaking away some of the vinegar.

It's moments like this I realise we take weird photos, but surely we're not alone...


  1. i just read the words "rust" "fabric" and "Scrolls" in my sidebar and had to click! Lovely;; cant wait to see what you do.

  2. Looks just wonderful Fiona - what a fascinating process. I love the way time changes organic things, sort of like an oven - ... Your work is fantastic!

  3. here's a vote for weird photographs, the more the better! i like the repeat circles on the scrolls-

  4. They do look exactly like snakes Fiona! I love the way you wait until the fabric will tell you what to do with it. I shall be intrigued to see what it says and what you do next. Lesley.

  5. Just wonderful! Cause for another happy art dance except I'm sitting in Starbucks and am not sure how the dance would be received by the others enjoying their morning coffee.

    Love the disintegrated areas. They're always so unpredictable, yet such a lovely surprise. I' m eager to see what these pieces become.

  6. Fiona, these are BEAUTIFUL!!!
    If I lived near you, I would be in your driveway salivating over samples of work in progress...
    You are inspiring me!

  7. I laughed at the phrase "it's moments like these I realize we take weird photos...". We take these images thinking "See? Do you see?" And yes, we of the tribe do see!

  8. looks really really cool Fiona!! would love to see what might turn out from them!!

  9. Brilliant! I can't believe how good these strips look, and what a strange but perfect blend of intention and neglect brought them to life!

  10. Abigail - rust, fabric and scrolls would get me in as well!

    Louise - thanks so much, it is a process that does what it does, and leaves you not knowing will happen...

    Velma - yes! Here's to many more weird photographs I say.

    Lesley - I agree, the similarities were a bit spooky in a way. I think the solution will be an exchange between the fabric, myself and Barry; he has some great ideas about these pieces as well!

    Jennifer, so lovely to have international seated happy
    dances happening!

    Anna - we could do an exchange and I could drool in your studio...

    Leslie - I love it, we do hope folk will see what we see, and it's wonderful that the tribe do see it...

    Hi Luthien, they re pretty gorgeous and will make some interesting bibs and bobs me thinks.

    G/TT, so glad you find them intriguing, I like the serendipity of the whoops I forgot factor and the results too.

  11. Fantastic, Fiona! The photo at the end of them on your driveway caught me unawares: when I first looked at it I thought the pieces were standing up against a plain background and I spent a moment or two trying to figure out how you'd supported them! Then I read what you'd written and realised my mistake; all very inspiring. Now I've tried your rusted paper recipe it looks as if I'll have to try vinegar... I do love seeing your experiments (and I don't think you take weird photos! I've been taking pics of rusty things for years too) Sara x

  12. Hi Sara - glad you liked them! It's good to know the weird photo gene is spread far and wide as well. The fabric rusting is pretty easy - wrap rusty stuff in fabric, put in vinegar, leave alone, remove and rinse! Have fun...


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.