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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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….

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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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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….

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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 · Watercolour

A Rainy Day In Scotland

Rainy Day In Scotland - NB
A RAINY DAY IN SCOTLAND

A wet in wet watercolour sketch on 140 lb hot pressed watercolour paper. The majority of this sketch is done with Paynes Grey, with just very tiny hints of Sepia and Prussian Blue. This took me about 15 minutes.

When it rains in Scotland the mountains very quickly blur into the clouds and mist and they still look beautiful. This sketch, my abstract rendition of rain on the mountains, will be stuck into my watercolour sketchbook…

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…