Saturday, June 9, 2012

Misty rusty mountain days

It has been a bit damp and a bit misty here on the mountain today. When I caught up with Susan yesterday morning, we both talked about how we wanted to experiment like Jennifer and Pam with rusting paper by leaving rusty bits on it out in the rain. We also love how Alice gets beautiful marks transferred (but don't know how!).

I have no idea what I am doing but off I went when I thought it might start to rain.

A plastic table out the back, a piece of Arches Velin (watered with the hose) and then a bunch of rusty bits placed on the paper, then on cue...rain.

This is how things are looking towards the end of Day 1.

I plan to leave it all out overnight and see what happens.

I would love to hear any tips or trade secrets about doing this - or whether patience is simply the key ingredient!

And here's some of the mist clearing momentarily - quite a gentle and beautiful sight.

PS Just as I was making the links to folk, I looked again at Jennifer's table and I think she put tea bags on as well, so I am about to run over in the dark and pop a few tea bags down and see what happens. Laugh!

PPS A real sign that Barry is getting better - I was in the kitchen explaining how I had just realised there might need to be tea bags as well; and he just said "so shall I get the torch and we'll go over?". And we did. Laugh more!


  1. I've admired and wondered about those rusty things too F - good luck with your experiments (and keep up that laughter eh? 'best medicine' and all)

  2. I have been admiring the rust printing as well and am looking forward to seeing how your experiment turns out. Maybe I will 'catch the bug'...
    You and Barry seem to be a perfect match - his reply made me smile.

  3. Awesome that Barry is getting in on the experiment as well!

    The paper I used is a 300 lb hot pressed watercolor paper...don't remember which brand. Good thick paper though. The tea was squeezed out of the tea bag in places and in others the bag was just plopped down and left to play. Green tea, not black.

    Oooh! I can't wait to see the results. Good thing I'm over here and am forced to be patient.

  4. That sounds like a lot of fun..I look forward to seeing the results of this experiment.

  5. Green tea and rust are a wonderful combination. Try spraying the paper with white vinegar - speeds the chemical reaction. I'm afraid you may need to wait for the paper to dry of its own accord in the sun [hahahaha] as the oxidisting reaction slowly takes place. Good to Baz is better today XXX

  6. so GLAD to hear barry's making jokes!

  7. Fiona, I'd be interested to see if plain rain water has the effect of rusting the paper. Wouldn't a spray of distilled white vinegar and water kick things off and achieve the same results if left in the sun? Good to hear Barry is back to form as your sounding board and 'what if' man!

  8. Looks interesting. Will have to give it a go.

  9. Put the bits in some black tea or just water and then sit them on the paper? Yes also agree with the above comment regarding vinegar. Sea water is another sure fire metal ruster. Loving your experiments Fiona! I ought to step out of my comfort zone.

  10. I have sprayed with diluted white vinegar. You could put a thin fabric on top as well to see what happens, layering works well.

  11. I am working on this same thing right now! First I didn't have enough rusty bits so I've cooked up some batches of bleach/vinegar/salt and let sit for several days. Rusted items are sitting on paper now - outside under covered porch. Some spritzed with vinegar, others with water, others with nothing. A few I put damp paper over. Thus far not exciting enough, but getting there. Oddly, in some spots I'm getting a strange blue/grey bleed. Could that be the bleach?

    My concern about the vinegar is how the paper will smell? I am thinking of some artist books and wonder how I can neutralize that smell??

  12. Thanks Ronnie - it is quite the experiment, but fun! And yes laughing keeps you sane..

    Thanks Stregata I think there will need to be more experiments, but we shall continue! It was the perfect response wasn't it? Go well.

    Hi J - I went back in the morning and added some green tea bags as well. All interesting.

    Thanks Jenni - it has been fun and the results are interesting too. More soon.

    Yes N - this experiment is more about rain than sun, but fun!

    Thanks V - yes the spirit is bright!

    Hi Lesley - I'm waiting for some sun to try that approach in now...lots of different ways of doing it I expect. The rain made it quite a washy look. And yes - it is good to have Barry back in form!

    Hi Jo - there's enough rain around at the moment to try this for sure!

    Hi Louise - Hmmm I like the idea of dipping in tea and then seeing what happens. I expect I am about t end up with an experiment board of different approaches and results! Thanks for the tips!

    Thanks Jackie- a light gauzy fabric on top would be very interesting, thanks!

  13. Hi Hollis - I'd love to see what happens with your various mixes. It's all such an experiment isn't it and it seems to require patience. Sigh. My sense is that you might need to rinse the paper after its dried to get the vinegar out maybe? I've done that with fabric, but not paper. Maybe it will just dissipate or vaporise as it fires. That would be good!

  14. Thanks Fiona. The humor in this is that my DH decided to wash the deck just after I'd done my layout of rusty bits. So I dragged it to the yard, things fell off and around and now it's been raining. So, this really has become an experiment! Details to follow. Always great to find a kindred spirit who gets this crazy stuff!

  15. Hi Fiona. I generally paint my paper with tea first (sometimes just by wiping the wet tea bag over it) and then place things on and leave to dry, which can take a few days. I don't understand the science of it but the tea definitely makes a difference.. haven't tried green tea. Good luck!

  16. Thanks Alice - I am getting so many tips I plan to write up a list of things to try and then head off and do them all. I like the idea of painting with a wet tea bag!! I must say - the green tea does make for a lovely grey...


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