Jan 8, 2011

unexpected art by alchemy

it's always so much fun to experiment ... reminds me of science classes at school, you'll never know what might happen ... perhaps an explosion! i always thought, but that never happened ;(

so ... i've been playing again :) let me show you some photos ...

can you tell me what this is? maybe not ... cos this photo has been photoshopped ... but doesn't it look beautiful just as it is? doesn't it look like some sort of an artwork on print?

ok ... let me show you another photo. this photo has been tweaked less ... so it's closer to the original subject.

definitely a work of art?! such pretty colors and shapes, shades and flows ...
so what is it? anyone? ... common ...

well ... it's rust. did you guess it?

it all began with this ...
you know i love rust and i rust my own bits and pieces like screws, washers, wire mesh, bolts and nuts ... the picture above shows a plastic cover which was used to dry off some nuts i had put in vinegar solution to rust. when i removed the rusted nuts ... this is what i got and i thought "oh wow that's pretty!" the rust stains have been left on the plastic cover. i even put a little note there.

then it gave me an idea ... what if i dried the pieces on another piece of metal ... or zinc sheet?

so i got a bunch of these ... these have already been rusted prior...

and put them on a piece of zinc. then i drenched them in vinegar solution

and put them out in the sun to dry ...

wallah!! this is what i got!

and if you tweak the photos a little with an editing software ... i think they could make beautiful abstract art prints!!

of course ... these are just rust stains and can be washed away. if you want them to stay on the sheet, a coat or two of fixative will do the job :) also, i had different color variation on the stains. i think it's due to the metal composition of the nuts and washers i used.

hope you've enjoyed these ... :) try it and tell me how your experiment turned out.

i just realized ... now this ... is truly ... altered alchemy!!!


  1. Wow, that's great. You inspire me

  2. Very cool ... I especially appreciate the awareness - and, reminder to be aware - of art in unexpected places.

  3. LOVE LOVE it Luthien! You always amaze me with rust! I love it too! I love the second photo of it and think it would make a gorgeous print, but big, like 30 x 40 would be a super cool abstract! xo Michele

  4. Hello,dear Luthien:-)*

    You are realy talented creative soul!
    Such great inspiration...
    The last one photo let me thinking about flowers,light and air,wonderful ideas!!!

    Wish you inspirational New year,

    Cheers,much Love,

  5. Genius! You should definitely sell these as prints - they would look fantastic on some rough texture paper I think. I do love 'accidental art'. I guess it shows how creative you are that you can spot the art when you're not looking for it.

  6. L- such fun to experiment; and even better when you get such a brilliant outcome. Just love the colours - the reaction of the rust and vinegar with the zinc plate seems to give it another dimension. I must give it a try when we have some sunny days. B

  7. HAH!! i'm glad you all enjoyed that :) thank you so much for all your wonderful comments!!
    BIG HUGS!!

  8. Heheh, that is indeed altered alchemy. Great idea, I did my degree in fine prints and it reminds me of some of the experiments I did with acid and steel for etchings, but quicker and easier lol. There's something 'fossiliferous' about it too (just made that word up, feel free to use it ;p) I bet the images you make like this would go well with ammonites decoupaged on top. :D x

  9. this is beautiful!



  10. JUST what I was looking for! Thanks Winnie :)

  11. I'm in rust heaven looking at this... just got to try it!


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thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post :) it makes my day!!
Luthien :)