Art · Erosion Bundles

The Making Of An Erosion Bundle

This is the post a few people have been waiting for…. ! This post is all about how I go about making my Erosion Bundles. I would like to state at the outset that this is NOT A TUTORIAL. In this post I am simply documenting how I made my current set of erosion bundles. Each time I make erosion bundles they are different – different ingredients, different papers, different fabrics etc. – it’s never the same.

I begin by gathering all of the things I need for my bundles. The primary components are the papers and fabrics….

Fabrics - NB

Papers 1 - NB

These are just a sample of the papers and fabrics I used. Next I need interesting things to go between the papers and fabrics…

Blackberries - NBBlueberries - NBRusty Stuff - NB

Tea Bags - NBEyeshadow - NBPearl Mica - NB

My ingredients above are: blackberries, blueberries, rusty stuff, teabags, eyeshadow and some pearl mica. The blueberries and blackberries I bought fresh from a local supermarket and froze them till I was ready to use them. All the rusty stuff I have rusted myself in my back garden! The eyeshadow was only 59p from a local discount store!

Ingredients gathered it’s now time to start layering papers and fabrics….

Paper & Fabric Layers - NB

Generally, I put the stronger, thicker papers and fabrics towards the outside of the bundle and the more fragile papers and fabrics nearer the centre of the bundle. At the base I started with a fairly strong piece of paper. In this case I used a piece of textured wallpaper as my base – textured side inside. It was approximately A5 size. Then I started randomly adding some of the staining ingredients on top. Then I added some fabric and more staining ingredients on top of that.  I like to vary the staining ingredients on each layer a little so each layer is slightly different. I added some more paper, more staining ingredients. I keep going till I have quite a thick pile of papers and fabrics layered up as in the picture above. You can see some blueberries and a rusty washer at the edges of the bundle in the picture above.

When my erosion bundle was about 4 – 5 inches high I decided that was enough and tied it all together with string….

Tied Bundle - NB

Tied Bundle - Side View - NB

You’ll notice in the first image above that I used quite a lot of string and I tie my bundles fairly tight as I don’t want anything falling out! You’ll also notice in the first image above that some of the string is stained…. that’s because I recycle my string! I always save the string from my previous erosion bundle and use it again for the next one if possible!

I had enough papers, fabrics and staining ingredients left over to make two more erosion bundles….

2 More Bundles - NB

Notice the recycled string again… ! All three bundles went out in the garden on Monday afternoon (24th July 2017). How long I leave them will depend on the weather. But I don’t want to open them till at least the end of September or possibly the end of October.

Hanging On The Fence - NB

The first bundle (above) is now hanging on my garden fence and the second two are sat on an old seat by my back door. It is hard leaving them for 2 -3 months – the curiosity is almost overwhelming – I’m dying to know what’s going on inside! But you just have to be self controlled, leave them alone and let nature and the elements work their magic on them….

For me, erosion bundles are all about experimenting! There are NO RULES – anything goes! In my view, there is no right or wrong way to do an erosion bundle! I’ve just gradually developed my own way of doing them. Some people like to use only natural ingredients in their bundles (fruit, veg, plants etc.) and that’s fine. But me, I’ll use anything! If I think it might make interesting marks, stains, textures, or cause interesting chemical reactions, I’ll try it! As with all experiments, some erosion bundles turn out better than others. Through my process I’m gradually learning what works and what doesn’t.

So for all you lovely people who have asked how I make my erosion bundles I hope this post has given you a little insight into how I go about making them. And maybe you might feel like giving it a go yourself…..

27 thoughts on “The Making Of An Erosion Bundle

  1. Thanks, Evelyn, I tried one a few weeks ago and this tutorial would have allowed my results to be more creative, of course. The eye shadow is genius! I only used fabric and can’t wait to see how it turned out.

  2. Oooh, some great ideas there! I can’t wait to try this again, but I can’t do it until we have moved – hopefully in August. It will be fascinating to see what results you get in a few months time!

  3. This is fantastic, Evelyn. You may not think it’s a tutorial but it’s as good as, from where I’m sitting. This is definitely something I want to try in the future so I’ve bookmarked your page. Too much else going on at the moment what with the imminent arrival of our kittens (less than 24 hours to go now!) and getting the pantry and kitchen sorted.

    Shoshi

  4. This is great. I enjoyed seeing what you did vs. what I did. I’m very paper oriented, I’m inspired to add fabric next time. And ditto other comments on the eye shadow. Genius! Looking forward to the results.

  5. Do you wet your bundle before hanging it? OR have you ever buried it in the ground? I have tried steaming a bundle and that turns out…..interesting….would love to try a new way….thanks for any info DD in Montana.

    1. Thank you Diana! I did just spray these with water before hanging as the sun was very hot – just to give them a fighting chance… ! I haven’t steamed or buried a bundle. I would bury a bundle but the soil in my garden is so hard and heavy, it’s too much effort to dig! I may try steaming a bundle and then putting it out in the garden as well….

  6. Loved reading about this, but even MORE enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL photos! You have such an artistic eye for art and photography! Absolutely beautiful Evelyn!

    1. Thank you Laura. It’s a great fun thing to do and the results are always different every single time. Rusting stuff doesn’t take too long…. there’s lots of tutorials on the internet…..

  7. Thank you – I have been fascinated by erosion bundles for a while, but haven’t had the courage to try any because I wasn’t sure what to do. You’ve explained it all beautifully, but I have one question please – is it necessary to rinse or clean papers and fabric at the end of the process?

    1. Thank you Chris! When erosion bundles are opened the damp papers in particular are very fragile and must be separated very carefully and just left to dry flat. I wouldn’t rinse them. The fabrics I would say it’s a matter of personal choice whether you rinse them or not. Personally, I don’t usually rinse them, I just let them dry flat and then just brush off any loose bits. With rinsing you always run the risk of losing some of the stains/dyes/textures etc., depending on what you’ve put in the bundle – it’s a gamble, you have to weigh up whether to risk it or not! At the end of the day I would say just use your own judgement because each erosion bundle is totally unique and there is never one rule that fits every circumstance.

  8. Excellent post, clear instructions, including the important admonishments that anything goes, and photos. I’m struck by how even the tied bundles have aesthetic appeal. Somehow I thought you buried them – maybe you do that sometimes. . It will be fin to see the results in a few months.

    1. Thank you Lynn – yes, I’m eagerly awaiting the results too! Just got to be patient now, and it’s hard… ! If I had better soil in my garden I would have a go at burying one, but it’s too hard and heavy to dig!

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