Monday, April 30, 2007

I Love Hearts

Here is the results of the set up I showed Friday April 27.

It didn't do exactly what I expected, which is part of the fun of rust dyeing. So I tried another napkin. This time I aligned the center fold of the napkin with the points of the heart. I liked the result much better, especially the little heart in the center. I set up another one today, but with a different crumple pattern for the edges. I'll keep making these until the cookie sheet collapses into a different shape. hummmmmm......a dinosaur would be interesting!

Friday, April 27, 2007

What a Day!!!

Today was almost the perfect day for rust dyeing, cool, moist and no bugs. The only draw back was a northerly wind, usually it blows through the Rust-Tex Dye Studio from the south. The wind was too strong for me to reclaim any rust dust so the filters will remain in the house until that wind dies down a bit. The wind wasn't as strong as April 22, so it didn't prevent me from working. Not only did I rinse out six pieces of tree fabric, I did several interesting set ups today.

The best involved the very rusty cookie featured on April 23. A heart shaped piece broke out of it last time I moved it.

To make the most of a serendipitous event, I put a cotton napkin with a scalloped edge over the hole. Then I crumpled up the edges and added rust dust and tannin to get gray. This early in the season I use tea. Usually Earl Gray Tea, because it smells so good. Today I was out of Earl Gray so I used Chai. It could become my new best ingredient for rust dyeing!!! With the wonderful smells of ginger root, cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg, and cardamom wafting off the set up, I might have to consider putting the set up in a cage to keeping the squirrels from nibbling on it. At the last moment I added a wire heart to the center to weight it all down.

I can hardly wait until tomorrow to see what develops!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Still Raining

It is still raining here in WI, but I heard there is a terrible drought in Australia. Speaking about water here is an interesting article:

SPENCER, Mass. - Dozens of residents were taken to hospitals Wednesday with burns or rashes after the town's water supply was accidentally treated with too much corrosive lye, officials said.
People in Spencer were advised not to use or touch the water until further notice, said Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Residents started complaining of skin irritation and moderate burns after showering early Wednesday, police Sgt. John Agnew said. He said officials determined that a malfunction at the town's water treatment plant had released too much sodium hydroxide into the water supply.
Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, is routinely put into water to reduce acidity and limit pipe corrosion, Coletta said.
The fire department took about 40 people to hospitals with rashes or burns, firefighter Ryan Flannery said.
The state advised residents to discard any liquids or foods made with town water Tuesday or Wednesday.
Town Manager Carter Terenzini said that as of 11:30 a.m., about 12 people were undergoing "decontamination" treatment at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. He did not know whether those people drank the water, or if it touched their skin.
Without water, many local businesses had to close. David Cao, owner of the Spencer Coin and Clean laundry, said he turned customers away and closed all the washing machines.
"We don't have business today," Cao said. "We really will have to see when they come back."
The excess chemical was to be removed by evening and the water supply would be subject to extensive environmental testing, Terenzini said.
Flannery said bottled water companies delivered drinking water to the fire station, where residents could pick it up. Officials were arranging to deliver drinking water to people who couldn't get to the fire station, he said.
The town of 12,000 is about 50 miles west of Boston

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Too Wet Here

It is too wet for me to do any rust dyeing. It is a good thing I rolled up some bottles earlier this week as the rain is keeping them well watered and helping them grow trees. I'll post pictures when they are finished.

Monday, April 23, 2007

That is One Rusty Cookie Sheet!!!

Today was THE perfect day for rust dyeing. It started out wet from last night's rain and ended up sunny and warm with out much wind. A couple of days ago, I had set up some scarves on a cookie sheet that was so rusty I thought it had a hole in it. To help retain the water, I put it on a big blue tray. It is a garbage can cover but I find it so useful in the Rust-Tex studio that I don't think of it's humble origins. With this wonderful set up I was expecting to get some gorgeous jasper scarves but instead I got a pale gold with just a tiny bit of veining.
the very rusty cookie sheet
the set up
the resulting color
That is what I LOVE about rust dyeing, the unpredictability of it!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


TWW is an abbreviation I use that means "too weird for words". Today it meant "too windy to work"!!! Today started out just beautiful. So much like last year's 4th of July that I thought how much work I got done that day and how painful my legs were on July 5th. So I knew I would have to pace myself.
The first thing I do everyday is reclaim rust dust from my filtering system. The wind was blowing so strong, I put the filters in a container in the house. They will keep until the wind dies down and my precious rust dust won't go to the four winds.
The wind was hot and dry. It dried all my setups before any interesting marks could develop on the fabric.
Here is a picture to show how hard the wind was blowing. It was like that all day until about 7:30 when started to rain.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Day Three

Didn't get to do any rust dyeing today even though the weather was pretty good for it. Tomorrow we are going to have our first garage sale outing of 2007. I am hoping to find something wonderfully rusty at such a low price I can't refuse it!!!
Here is a picture from last ThursdayApril 12.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Day Two

Today it was too wet and cold to do any rust dyeing. But yesterday was a wonderful day. These bottle wraps were started on Tuesday.

There is room for another bottle there just wasn't time to get another one set up.

Monday, April 16, 2007

And So It Begins

Today with my taxes filed and the temperature predicted to be 68 degrees F I decided it would be a good day to set up the Rust-Tex studio out on my deck here in Madison, Wisconsin.

On Friday the 13th, I demonstrated rust dyeing at the "Sampler", one of the events at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago . I placed a rusty star on a styrofoam plate, added a bit of salt and a bit of water, then I showed some other techniques from the Rust-Tex Instructional CD. After each demo I put the plates on top of each other. At the end of the event I put the whole pile in a plastic "zip-lock" bag.

Today at home I opened the bag,

unpiled the plates,

rinsed the fabric and hung the newest batch of stars on the line to dry. As I scrubbed each plate to reclaim the rust dust, I was surprised to see the stars had made marks on the bottom of the plates.

Would rust dyeing work on tyvek?