Monday, March 04, 2013

Ecoprinting with Rust - some early Results

Ecoprinting with Rust - some early Results


So here finally some photos, these eco printing images are from an overnight run of adding rusted objects found whilst beach combing but the sea 

Added some water-colour paper, a little vinegar and some sprinkles of salt for texture and to release the rust of the metal .. Some of the rusted pieces were quite wobbly so had to be secured to stand up with some beach pebbles..

How to rust paper fabric print eco printing beach 6

Here the array of rusted metal huddling up together on a sheet of paper. I did not add anything or wrap anything other than vinegar and salt to see whether the rust would just yield a simple print 

How to rust paper fabric print eco printing beach 1

This piece of driftwood had an old rusty nail stuck into it … it did not give much of an area to print but it was too deep in for me to remove so I added it like this leaning against the strange round cylinder .. walking on the beach today I saw another one of these rusted things ..

now I am wondering just what it is and where it came from for there to be 2 identical ones but on opposite sites of the beach , hmm

How to rust paper fabric print eco printing beach 2


Just overnight and the object is slowly releasing its rust into the water-colour paper , it was still quite wet with seawater inside the little grooves, so the salt content must have helped but also gave a sort of water-colour effect to the rusted liquid


How to rust paper fabric print eco printing beach 3


After it had fired you can see the imprints the 2 rusted nails from the wood gave by the tiny circles underneath the big one 

because the big shape is slightly concave the round shapes in the centre only left a fait imprint , I think if I wrap a piece of fabric tightly over this and add some white it might yield a better imprint , although I quite like the faintness of it 

How to rust paper fabric print eco printing beach 4


the flat holly rusted piece of metal I simply layer with the straightest side onto the paper and put a heavy weight on it to give good contact with the paper underneath … all these were imprinted on the same piece of water-colour paper as I don't have much room here in Wales to leave anything to try in my teeny tiny cottage :-) 

How to rust paper fabric print eco printing beach 5


this is the imprint from the flat piece of rusted metal after it dried … interesting textures and patterns to play with 

How to rust paper fabric print eco printing beach 7


now the eco prints go off to rest for a couple of days underneath some heavy books to straighten them out 


Fun .. can't wait to play some more with rust prints





  1. How did you imagine this idea? I would never come up with something like this. For the experiment itself it looks like a fun project, let alone the result. I'm very curious what you will turn this page into...

    xx Monica

  2. They came up rather beautifully Milliande, what a trove of treasures your Welsh beach is,I wonder what else you will find there and be inspired by?

  3. Your rust experiments came out great. Thanks for sharing with us. Your beach is a real treasure trove! :-) xoxo

  4. I think I see you in the rust being blessed by its fairies. The are blessing you for your generosity and creativity : )

  5. I really like this idea of rusty paper and fabric. Can't wait to get back in my studio and make some more. Am still mulling whatctocdo with my first batch of rusted paper Hmmm a book maybe . Can't wait to see what you do with yours


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