Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pottering and playing

Unlike last weekend we have been experiencing beautiful sunshine this weekend and really, the word is probably basking. Just sitting or standing wherever the sun can be on your back and soaking it all up, feeling the warmth seep into your bones and relax you.

Things are still moving slowly here, but they are all moving in the right direction and we enjoyed time just pottering here and there on the block and dipping into the studio now and then.

I managed to get some things organised and tidied away and sorted and settled in the studio which made me feel better; and along the way played some more with rusty bits and tea.

I got some lovely marks and have enjoyed cropping parts of the paper and imagining book pages and details, burning and more marks...

Don't ask me why or how, but out the back I found these rusty old chains - for car tyres in the snow! Clearly not needed here in sub-tropical Maleny... but here is the after and the before shot.

Here is how the back of the studio looked with four pages rusting - on the table, on the concrete, on the pebbles and on the old rocking chair.

 And some of the lovely marks left behind...

I got a little over-zealous and over-enthusiastic about the tea. I just kept dripping it on and as result got some wild and almost fierce marks which was fun.  I am so grateful to everybody who made suggestions and especially to Alice who explained why tea works with rust! See here for a fascinating explanation.


  1. I love these - especially the third from last piece which looks like those colours were just having fun!

  2. Ooohhhhh - so envious. Haven't raided Steve's shed yet. Had fairly poor results with my big pots but didn't add tea. Should have read Alice's post earlier! Will be trying again with big chains I have been promised ..... Hope I get something as lovely as your marks.

  3. Awesome! I'm drooling on the keyboard again. Really gotta stop that before the whole thing shorts out on me.

    The shot of the paper chained to chair is priceless. Got a bit of a chuckle over that one. I followed your lead and put another piece of 300 lb watercolor paper with rusty bits out in the rain during the week and left it out overnight [which wasn't done before]. Got lovely marks.

    Am off to a flea market this morning and think I'll keep an eye out for rusted gears and other bits. Need new blood for the collection. Enjoy!

  4. Thanks Annie - yes that is definitely one of the wild ones. I think I'm not patient enough so every time I popped over I just added more tea!

    Hi Susan - yes I learned a lot from Alice! I think I could calm down a bit with the tea, but I have found some wonderful pieces within the pages.

    Hi J - how funny! I thought the rocking chair was worth a shot - clearly any surface in a storm kind of thing. the overnight rain elves really soft marks doesn't it? Hope you had a fine time at the flea market!

  5. Hi Fiona. Well done! Absolutely gorgeous. I'm not having as much success. I didn't drip tea and given the link you gave, maybe that's why. I spritzed with water. My rusted chain didn't come out at all. Yours is amazing. Oh such fabulous fodder for future projects! Are you "re-rusting" your bits after or does the tea continue to work as well? Much experimenting to do....

  6. Did you mean to say "overnight rain elves?" or was it "overnight rain leaves?" I much prefer the first one and am trying to picture exactly what these creatures might look like and why they are so drawn to tea and rust! At any rate - clearly your elves are working in perfect harmony with you - these recent pieces are beautiful.

  7. That chain makes great marks!!!

  8. Hi Hollis - I think the thing I now understand is...water, salt, vinegar, lemon juice all seem to make the things rust more - and in making rust they take longer and may leave a few marks. With the tea, the tannic acid seems to remove rust from the things; and deposit them on the paper of the a lot quicker and more interesting. I'm no chemist but that's what I figure!

    G/TT - Oh yes - I'll say I meant to write elves! So funny. Whoever they are they appear to be having fun!

    Very cool marks Jo!

  9. I could drool over these marks for ages Fiona but I was lost at the sentence about the heat of the sun working it's magic by seeping into the bones to relax us.Today is the first day that has started with 'sun' over here for many a day. How I'd love to feel that warmth myself later on! It might infuse me with some of your creativity! Who knows?

  10. Love the rusty chain marks - I have a feeling that the chains used to be mine - and did many a trip to the summit of Mount Hotham - oh, the memories!!! XX

  11. ooooh, the chain marks + tea are pure delight!

  12. Oh, oh, oh! Just the most wondrous chain marks. I didn't know about the tea but think I may go out in the rain now and try it out. I have lots of rusty chains to try out. Lovely, Fiona.

  13. Hi Lesley - feel free to drool, I have been for sure.I hope your sunny patch lasted - ours didn't and i have had to re-set my winterometer again! You could play with this stuff for sure.

    You may well be right about the previous ownership N - makes sense! But my they make beautiful marks.

    Hi Anca I agree - total delight and deliciousness!

    Hi Carol - with all your rust stacks you will find some wonders - just wet the paper (paint with tea), drop on the rust and then dribble tea over the rusty bits as it dries for drama. Green tea makes grey, black tea makes brown. enjoy!


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