Raining again. What in the world has happened to South Texas weather. Rather than wither, we are molding up and melting. Well, perhaps appropriately, here are some rusted cloth images from some of my work and some of the Burning Women's work.

My recipe, (such that it is):

Find rusty stuff or metal thingies.

Spread out a large thick sheet of polyethelene drop cloth on the  caliche driveway. Put down a damp layer of fabric (my favorites lately have been cotton gauze).

Arrange or randomly toss on the rusty and metal objects. Sprinkle with canning salt. Put down another layer of fabric, repeat as desired.

Once the sandwich is complete, spray with household vinegar  or if the sandwich is really thick, just pour a gallon of vinegar over the entire thing.

Top with another layer of dropcloth and weight the edges with rocks. Gingerly walk around on top of the whole thing on and off for a day or a couple of days (I wear my Crocks to insure nothing cuts through). Preferably with hot steamy weather. If really dry I may roll back the top plastic and spray it all again with water).

When I can't wait any longer, peel it apart, wash the fabrics in the washing machine and make sure none of the nails or screws got loose in the driveway. (Guess why I do this now. $120 tire emergency later.)

Overdye fabrics as desired. (PS. I have also been known to pour fairly dilute dye into the whole sandwich, especially when I am using silk, the vinegar works as the catalyst and the dyes mix with the rust for some interesting colors.) 


Detail from "Desert 2" a large installation piece that will be at the Tubac Art Center this fall. (The image at the top of this blog is also part of that piece.) Both these details also include some textile paint printing using a thermofax.


Sue Cooke's study from the Burning Woman Workshop in July.