Rust, and it’s getting messy

Been quiet on the blog front – trying to sort out a variety of questions I had on the technical aspects of what is supposed to be a simple little blog – oh what a difference a few dots and dashes make……. hopefully sorted now.

Whilst that’s been rumbling on in the background I’ve been escaping into the happy world of print, dye and sew.

printing with thermofax screen

A lovely day thermofax screen printing with Handprinted in Bognor Regis. ¬†using an “old school” thermofax printer and ¬†the magical transfer screen. Not quite as versatile as conventional screenprinting, but SO much simpler for a quick result!

Another eye-opening experience with Handprinted at one of their “Fab Fridays” workshops taught me how to print with my (many) pressings of seaweed and ferns – I knew there’d be a use for them!

transfer dyeing with ferns and seaweed

And then…..a great day with Jule Mallett, learning about the messy and smelly process of rust dyeing. Such lovely and unexpected results made by combining iron objects with either vinegar, tea, water, salt water (I do live beside the sea – knew that would be useful too!), and any number of other combinations, wrapping in fabric, laying on paper, leaving to the elements, putting in plastic bags, so and so on! Jule was an enthusiastic mine of information and ideas.

Soooo…thought I’d combine some of it all together….

Printing with thermofax on rust dyed and transfer dyed fabric

I am just going out to the greenhouse now (surely you didn’t think it was just for tomatoes?), and I’m going to put a rusty old Victorian drain cover – purloined from Tom (Harbon Builders) onto a piece of silk noile and cover with sea water and tea in a deep tray. Then leave. We’ll see what happens. I really hope to avoid vinegar – the smell at the workshop was almost overwhelming!

With the help of Geoff and some copper tubing, I’ve put a couple of fused glass installations into “hot” areas of the garden. The colours look beautiful with the sun shining through them. I wish I could find some more rusty tubing on the beach, it made a good contrast with the smooth textures of the glass. (Not that I want to encourage throwing old car parts over the harbour wall in ANY way – I’ll do that “rusting” in the greenhouse too if necessary).

Fused glass installations


Ah yes, the sewing….it’s coming on….more next time.