welcome!

Whether you've reached this blog willingly or by force I'm happy to have you here.
ersi marina's workroom is always open to the public, even when I am not in. Sometimes I need to sleep.
And to paint.
And to play with my four cats.
My name is Ersi Marina and I live in Spain though I was born and grew up in Athens, Greece. I kept it all very Mediterranean.
This blog is a means to share my work and snippets of my life, as well as to be in contact with you all. I hope you'll enjoy your visit.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

trust me to rust

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!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

searching for something blue

Last Thursday was the day to post our 'blue' photographs for Jennifer Coyne Qudeen's and Julie B. Booth's challenge 'Searching for Roy G. Biv' (Deciphering: searching for Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet)

Having been sick, I didn't make it in time for the challenge and I wasn't able to take any new pictures either. But I thought I could post some older blues to honour the occasion, and here they go:


This curious creation is a fractal that I made years ago. Four years, maybe? I remember lovingly tweaking the colours for hours till I got the exact blue I was looking for. It is titled 'feeling number 2'.


Not a ship sailing in the sky but the dome of a chapel in the Aegean island of Mykonos. The whitewashed walls reflect the warm light of the setting sun.


Yet another chapel in Mykonos, this one photographed shortly after noon. Harsh shadows, bold contrasts. It dates back to the sixteenth century, if I remember correctly.


Several shades of blue in Santorini, one of the most famous and most beautiful islands in the Aegean Sea. The hazy isle in the distance is, in fact, the crater of a volcano that is still considered active. Its last eruption was in 1954 and it wiped away a whole village on the island.


Flying to the other side of the Mediterranean, this is the Spanish island of Mallorca. Stormy skies and a windy day finally calmed down in the late afternoon.


Mallorca again. A small fishing village on a quiet Sunday morning. It was November and the sun was still warm though not so blinding as in summer.


The small cemetery on the outskirts of Sitges, on the Catalonian coast. The chapel seems to be attracting the clouds to itself.

Julie, Jennifer, I'm sorry I missed the challenge but at least you know I didn't forget about it!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

white for peace


This is my Flag for Peace, that I was able to finish just yesterday. Three layers of white fabric and a small twig at the bottom. Not a very good photograph, I decided to blur the background because it really got in the way.

The foremost fabric is the one I weaved on my toy loom. A long piece of macramé cord is hanging freely from the main piece. The middle fabric is a white cotton cloth with hand-frayed edges. It took me over four hours to do that! The back fabric is a shorter piece of sack cloth that can be seen through the cotton when the flag is lit from the back -as it is supposed to be. It is frayed too.

All three fabrics are sewn together by hand along the upper edge and I added a couple of white cotton fasteners to the top, to hang the flag from a rope.


A closer up view of the upper part of the flag. No transparency here, so you cannot see the sack cloth.


This is the lower part of the flag, with the twig and the long macramé cord.


Trying to show the different parts a bit better. The fringe hanging from the weaved fabric is made up by the loose ends of the warp threads. (I am learning new vocabulary here.) The twig is held in place with a couple of pieces of white ribbon.


And an attempt to show the three fabrics up close. I chose white because I think it is a peaceful colour and it is also the colour of truce flags. Weaving and sewing are essentially an activity carried out in moments of peace, in the serenity of our homes. Mostly a female activity that aims to dress and protect the home and the people, wrapping them up in warmth.

My flag is already on its way to Valderrobres, where it will hang along with nine other flags in the beautiful La Lonja of the Medieval Town Hall.


I have been unwell and mostly offline for days. I am now on sick leave till Monday. I have not been able to take my flag to the Town Hall myself but a friend is kindly taking it there along with her own. I will post photographs of the ten flags to the flags for peace blog tomorrow. I have other great things to blog about here and I'll try to do it during the weekend. I hope you are all well and I will be going through my blog list as soon as I post this entry. Thanks for dropping in!
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