As some of you may know already, I have been unwell and on sick leave for days. The 'not quite being there' feeling started at the beginning of September and, since I did nothing about it, it worked its way to an anxiety disorder. I feel much better now though still a bit tired and absentminded. I asked the doctor if she could prescribe a 7-day holiday in a cute hotel near a gorgeous beach, with spa and massage treatments paid by Social Security but she explained that was not possible. I still don't understand why...
At the beginning of September I decided to do my first experiment ever on rusting cloth. Did I really know how to go about it? No, I didn't. But I went about it nevertheless.
Aware that my first experiment could well be a failure, I chose a colour-stained cotton cloth that I had used to wipe my hands after painting. You can see the light blue and green stains here and there.
I wanted to use washers but I had no rusty washers available. Searching for small rusty objects by the road and around the village had rendered poor results. Curiously, large rusty iron objects are much easier to come by. So I went to the hardware store and they actually gave me several different sized washers for free!
They explained that I could use hydrogen peroxide to rust the washers quickly but were not sure what 'quickly' meant. So I went back home, filled a jar with hydrogen peroxide, wrapped the cloth around the washers, put everything into the jar and closed the lid.
I thought I'd let the process go on for about a week but then I started feeling worse and lost track of time. Meanwhile, the jar and its contents enjoyed the sunlight on my window sill day after day. When I finally realized the cloth needed to be rescued, four weeks had gone by. A whole month!
And this was the result. A rotten cotton cloth full of holes and tears but with some gorgeous (to my eyes) rusty imprints of the washers. Oh, my! I fell in love with it. I rinsed it and soaked it in water with salt to stop the rusting process (where did I read that? Sorry, I can't remember and cannot give the credit due) and hang it to dry.
Do you remember me saying somewhere that I would like to start deconstructing my fabrics? Well, it seems that I have started already.
I still don't know what I'll do with this cloth. Put it away, cut it in pieces, join it to other pieces of cloth, embroider on it? This wonderful failure of an experiment will surely end up telling me what it needs. For the time being... I'm thrilled I have it!