Art · Erosion Bundles

Art & Beauty In Decay

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This image follows on from yesterday’s post of my Summer Erosion Bundle 2017. It’s a mosaic I created in Photoshop of some of the highlights of my erosion bundle. Notice the lovely autumnal colours ~ rusty browns and autumn berry colours….

When I made my erosion bundle back in the summer I realized it would be autumn when I opened it so I deliberately tried to incorporate things that would create autumnal colours – I didn’t  just throw my bundles together, I did give them a little thought…. !

You can click on the image to view a much larger version and large pictures have gone into my Art Gallery.

There is indeed art and beauty in decay, when nature just left to do it’s thing….

 

Art · Erosion Bundles

Summer Erosion Bundle 2017

Back in the summer I did a post documenting how I made my latest erosion bundles, you can read about it here. They’ve been in the garden for almost 2 1/2 months. Well, a few days ago I opened them up, carefully separated everything and left my papers and fabrics to dry….

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Lots of rust and berry stains….

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The lovely blue/mauve stains above and below are from blackberries….

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It will come as no surprise that fabrics made from natural fibres (ie. cotton, silk, linen etc.) absorb colour and stains much better than synthetic fabrics. Below are two pieces of blackberry and rust stained silk….

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All paper fragments, like the ones above, are kept and will be used in a future art project…

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Pearl mica adds some shimmer on the papers below….

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Beautiful rust stains below….

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Above and below are both sides of the same piece. They’re actually two pieces of paper fused together, there’s just no hope of separating them. The rust stains are gorgeous. Some rusty washers are still attached. Below you can see some eye shadow and berry marks too. But what really intrigues me though is that round turquoise circle you can see on both sides of the paper. As yet, I have no idea what made that turquoise circle – it’s distinctly washer shaped, so I’m thinking that maybe one of my washers has reacted with something in my bundle. That’s one of the joys of erosion bundles ~ lovely things happen inside them ~ you never know what you’re going to find when you open them….

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Below is some greaseproof paper from the kitchen – it’s quite good stuff to put into an erosion bundle, not too thick and fairly strong. There’s a dried blueberry stuck on it and you can also see some blackberry stains. In the middle on the right you can also see a pattern left by some fabric….

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Below is a piece of bleached denim, it always stains well in an erosion bundle…

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Below is some rusty jute….

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So these are the results of my summer erosion bundles. I didn’t photograph everything, just the most interesting bits. I’ll have to start thinking about what to do for my next bundle. All these lovely papers and fabrics are going to be carefully stored till I need them. I’m hoping to use them in a new project next year – but more information about that later this year.

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….

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

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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….

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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….

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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….

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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.

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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…..

Art · Erosion Bundles

Spring Erosion Bundle 2017 – Fabrics

Here are the fabric results from my spring erosion bundle. I posted the paper results about 2 weeks ago – you can see them HERE. I’m quite pleased with how the fabrics turned out….

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A piece of lacy fabric has been given a vintage make over in my erosion bundle with the aid of some rusty items and pale blue paint…

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Here’s a slightly closer view of the rusty section, looking beautifully vintage….

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Above is part of an armchair arm cover. I has some lovely rust stains on it, plus paint and paper for added texture. Here’s a closer view…

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You can see the paint and paper stuck to the fabric – they are completely fused together…

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Above we have some more very vintage looking lace pieces, stained by rust and teabags….

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Paint and tea stained cotton….

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Gentle rust and dark blue paint stains on some silk…

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More lovely rust stains from some washers and other items…..

Next we have a series of bleach washed denim. I soaked the denim in bleach, rinsed and dried it prior to putting it into my erosion bundle

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My fabrics will be carefully stored till I am ready to use them in  my art work. In the meantime I’m deciding what to put into my summer erosion bundle. I’m going for a different colour scheme and using other things I’ve never tried before. I’m hoping to get it into the garden before the end of the month….

Art · Erosion Bundles

Spring Erosion Bundle 2017 – Papers

Way back in early March I put an erosion bundle into the garden. What is an erosion bundle? Very simply, it’s a pile of papers and fabrics assembled in layers with lots if interesting things in between the layers that will leave marks or stains. You can use natural or man made things to create the stains or marks – the key is to experiment! The bundle is then tied with string and placed outside and left at the mercy of the elements till it’s suitably decayed, about 2 -3 months, but times can vary considerably.

So without any more waffle, here’s my results:

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I worked on a blue and rust theme with this bundle. Sometimes the papers break up when trying to separate them but I keep all the fragments – everything will get used…

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Above we have several layers of paper, paint, fabric and foil all completely fused together – there’s no way of separating them! But we have some lovely colours and textures…

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I like putting paper doilies in my bundles but they are very delicate and rarely stay in one piece. On the one above you can see marks left from rusty washers…

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Above we have several layers of paper, fabric and paint fused together by the elements. I think there’s a teabag in the layers somewhere – I can feel it but there’s no way of getting it out, it will have to stay there! Notice the lovely pastel colours and gentle rust and tea stains….

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In the piece above there are rusty washers stuck to the paper – I can’t get them off! The background paper was a piece of “test paper” I used for testing colours on before they go on my art work…

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Beautiful shades of blue and hints of rust…

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A question I’m frequently asked about my erosion bundles is “what are you going to do with these papers and fabrics?”. The answer: they will get used in mixed media art work and collage. But more specifically, my sister Carolyn and I are going to begin a new art project early next year and my erosion bundle papers and fabrics are going to be enormously useful for that. I will give more information about this new project later in the year – it’s exciting… !

I hope you enjoyed looking at my distressed papers. There will be a second post about my spring erosion bundle which will focus on the fabrics that came out of my spring erosion bundle – they are just lovely and inspiring….

Art · Erosion Bundles

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 3

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Welcome to part 3 of my Winter Erosion Bundle – the final part! Part 3 is very different to Part 1 and Part 2 – is has no rust and no blueberries! I used just dots of watercolour paint and sprinkles of pearl mica.

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These papers were on the very outside of the erosion bundle. The watercolour paint gave the papers beautiful soft pastel tones…

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The pearl mica gave a lovely sheen to the papers that catches the light…

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Above is a close up view of the previous image.

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I used tissue paper, deli paper and notebook paper, all of which absorbed colour very readily…

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The lovely pastel tones blend and compliment each other beautifully…

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Shimmering gold pearl mica with touches of vintage pink…

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Blues, greens and turquoise – lagoon colours…

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All the colours of the rainbow…

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These papers have been carefully stored. I will use them in mixed media art as and when the right project comes along. These erosion bundles take time to produce, so it’s a good idea to build up a good supply of eroded, corroded, vintage papers well in advance!

Click on any of the images to view them larger…

A spring erosion bundle is in the planning stage…

Art · Erosion Bundles

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 2

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Welcome to part 2 of my winter erosion bundle! You can view Part 1 HERE if you missed it. Above is a piece of scrapbook paper which I scanned and printed out onto some copy paper. Into my erosion bundle it went. Stuck on the paper you can see blueberry remains, the white powdery remains of an effervescent Vitamin c tablet, some raspberry remains and some rust. All of them create wonderful vintage colours and textures. Next, the reverse side of the paper…

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Much more subtle colours and stains on this side…

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Above is some more subtly stained scanned scrapbook paper – the yellow stains are from some turmeric I sprinkled onto the paper. The reverse side looks like this:

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Above a piece of beautifully vintage sheet music, stained with rust and blueberries. It turned out that those blueberries would have a huge impact on this erosion bundle – although I had no idea when I put them in – it was purely experimental…winter-eb-15-nb

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The paper directly above is a piece of paper from an old book, beautifully stained…

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Above is an envelope – I like to use an assortment of paper in my erosion bundles! Again it’s beautifully aged and vintage looking. The reverse side:

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Also into my erosion bundle went some paper doilies:

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The doilies were very fragile when they came out of the bundle, hence why they’ve torn a little. For my final image of this post a picture of my erosion bundle in the garden:

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This my erosion bundle all tied up and hanging on my garden fence! As you can see it’s covered in frost, it was about -5 Celsius  when I photographed this. My bundle measured about 10″ x 8″ and on this morning it was frozen solid – it was like a giant house brick! You can’t miss the brown splodge on the front of it – that is…  erm…. bird pooh! I’m not entirely sure what that bird had been eating, however, when you put an art project out into the garden you have to expect these things… !

Click on any of the images to view them larger…

These papers will be carefully stored and will get used in my art work, in due course. They are all totally unique and individual and each of them have their own beauty. I love them! This concludes part 2 of my winter erosion bundle, part 3 (the final part) will follow sometime in the not too distant future…

Art · Erosion Bundles

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 1

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Soon after finishing my previous Erosion Bundle I started a new one! You can see the results of my previous one here: Art & Beauty In Decay.

An erosion bundle is simply a pile of paper and/or fabric layered up with stuff that will leave stains, marks, colour and texture etc. I use tea bags, coffee, paint, rusty stuff, household chemicals – literally anything that has the vaguest hope of leaving marks, stains, patterns or some colour! I use lots of different paper types and sizes and different fabrics, Sometimes I finish with a fabric wrapping , sometimes I don’t! Then I tie it up with string and out it goes into the garden to be left to the mercy of the elements for a long as I dare! Usually anything from 6 to 12 weeks, to let nature do it’s thing…

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This erosion bundle I left outside for about 8 weeks. I had planned to leave it longer, but due to the sub-zero icy weather alternating with warm rainy weather, the bundle eroded much quicker than I thought it might. The above two pics are both sides of the same piece of paper – just look at that wonderful rusty, crusty stain on the paper…

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I scanned some scrapbook paper and printed it off – into my erosion bundle it went! More lovely rust stains. But do you see that darkish  grey-blue stain in the bottom right corner above? The stain left by a blueberry!! Next is the other side of the paper…

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… delicious colours and textures…

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Scrapbook paper with rust stains, blueberry stains and paint. But look how beautifully aged and crinkled the paper looks – this paper was white copy paper when it started out! Next is a detailed section of the above pic…

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Next the reverse side of the above paper…

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The two dark marks in the above pic on the left are blueberry remains! Here’s a more detailed look…

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Another detailed view of the same piece of paper…

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Beautiful blueberry stains and rust…

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Lovely turquoise paint stains. Do you see the white mark on the right of the above pic? It’s the remains of an effervescent vitamin C tablet! Nothing is sacred when it comes to an erosion bundle… Next is the reverse side of the paper…

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In the top right corner is another one of those tell tale blueberry stains. But do you notice some tiny bits in the rusty stain in the bottom right corner? When I looked at them closely I realized they were raspberry seeds! The raspberries didn’t leave any colour in my erosion bundle but they did leave their seeds behind for some added texture! Next a close up view of the blueberry stain:

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Well, this is going to conclude Part 1 of my Winter Erosion Bundle results. There will be a Part 2 and a Part 3 in due course! This was a very big erosion bundle and the results were very mixed and varied.

Click on any of the images to view them larger…

These papers will get stored very carefully till I decide on the right project to use them on. As a girl in love with colour and texture, I find these erosion bundle results very exciting! A blog friend called this “garden art” – I like that! Nature is very good at creating it’s own art!

What I love most of all about these papers and all the other papers from erosion bundles is that they are all totally UNIQUE, ORIGINAL and ONE OF A KIND! There will never be another one exactly the same ever… !

Art · Erosion Bundles

Art & Beauty In Decay

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On August 22nd 2016 I made an erosion bundle pictured above. It’s a stack of paper and some fabric sandwiched together with all sorts of things – random blobs of paint, tea bags, rusty objects, tumeric etc. I tied it with string and then placed it in the garden to let the elements work their magic on it. On Sunday (27th November 2016), 3 months later, I decided to see how it was doing. It was looking rather worse for wear! So I decided to bring it indoors and open it up! Would you like to see what I ended up with… ??

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Those of you who have done this before will know that you have to peel the damp papers apart very carefully. When my fragile papers came apart I found I had lots of beautifully  stained, aged papers and fabric with wonderful colours and textures…

This is a more detailed view of the above picture:

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Can you imagine how these lovely colours and textures will look in some mixed media art or collage?

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Next is the other side of the above piece of paper:

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With erosion bundles you never know what you’re going to end up with so I was over the moon to see such wonderful colours, textures and stains on my papers…

This is a more detailed view of the above picture:

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This piece of indigo denim  became totally fused together with the papers that surrounded it – they are totally inseparable! Next is a picture of  the other side:

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The rust apparently seeped through all the layers of paper and fabric, along with tea stains from the tea bags…

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What awesome textures – the hint of green colour in the above picture is where some turmeric mixed with some turquoise paint…

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Three months in my garden and these papers look like they could be hundreds of years old! Some lace has become beautifully antique looking…

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Paint stained and rusted indigo denim:

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The rusty items in my erosion bundle became even more rusty and were covered in paper and paint…

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These delicate papers will be now stored very carefully somewhere nice and flat till I get to use them in some art. The fabrics will go into my fabric stash ready for use and the rusty items will get reused again in another project! You can click on any of the images to view them larger.

I hope you’ve enjoyed viewing my erosion bundle results. I really enjoy doing erosion bundles and I’ve already got some good  ideas for my next erosion bundle…