Praying to the rust fairy.

Today I discovered that ferrous sulphate is nowhere to be found in Fredericton. Garden stores, hardware stores, grocery stores, pharmacies; all came up empty. My only hit was in the “online only” section of Home Depot website. No time to be ordering away, the bridge piece needs finishing in the next week.

So for experiment #1 I settled for a big ol’ piece of chain, which unfortunately is galvanized. I put in the fabric, weighed it down with the chain, and poured in about 2 L of vinegar.

It immediately began to fizz. I suspect it is the zinc coating coming off. At any rate, I took it out to the shed for safety’s sake. Who knows what all is toxic these days. Don’t want to be breathing anything in.

When I was at the pharmacy I looked for iron sulphate but found only iron bisglycinate. I bought a bottle anyhow.

So for experiment #2, I followed the instructions here but with the whole bottle of iron supplement. It really seemed to have no effect at all (fabric was already cream-tinted). However you are supposed to let it dry before washing out so maybe if will oxidize overnight.

For Experiment #3, I grabbed the bucket of iron tablets/4 L of water that I had used above and threw in about a cup of vinegar. I put some fabric in, weighed it down with a wine bottle, and put it in the shed.

This was maybe an hour after Experiment #1 got started, and check out the foaming action now! Neato!

It looks like most of the shiny coating has come off the chain, so hopefully the next step is rust. Or it could all go horribly wrong and I’ll have to suck it up and use synthetics.

Cross your fingers for me!


So I’m back after a little hiatus to finish up the school year and get my messy house in order. There has been a lot going on, so I will have to take a few days to get through it all.

To start with, I’d like to take you on a little tour of our textiles show at the college. I wish I could take you there in person, it’s such a vibrant room to stand in, you can hardly leave in a bad mood.

Here are the collection of scarves which hang in the middle of the room. You can see my nebula scarf toward the left, as well as some other sky-inspired pieces made by my classmates. Toward the back in white and red are a couple of devoré/discharge scarves made by the graduating class.

From left: Iddo van der Geer, Allison Green, Monique Arnold, Kaitlyn Clark

Next we see some stunning felt corsets (completely seamless!) made by my comrades in arms. Next store some fellow with marvelous taste is checking out my “Brief History of Written Communication” paper quilt.

Allison Green, Megan McGeachy

Next in line are the repeat patterns designed and painted in gouache by my surface design class. My blimps are in the middle with a stippled paint technique, and the other girls chose the embroidery-look technique.

Jenna Brayall, Allison Green, Stevie Holyoke

These are a collection of ethnographic samples from the fibre arts group. They are basically contemporized versions of traditional symbols. They are felted, sewn together, and embroidered.

These next are some incredible felt scarves by Alexandra Keely. They remind me of seaweed.

Also reminiscent of seaweed, this time the pods that you snap between your fingers, is this piece by Holly McGee. This picture hardly does it justice. In each pod there are little surprises of stitching and pearls.

These are a couple of capes, the blue one by Jenna Brayall. She has felted directly onto silk organza, and has sewn tiny little beads down the front for an extra bit of whimsy. Way in the back you can see a canvas floor mat printed with a croc and balloons, which was made by a second-year surface student.

Here is a lovely woven piece, second year fibre arts I believe. It iappears both delicate and warm, quite a feat. Beside it are the blankets woven by first and second years.

Here are my nursery rhyme pieces. My ladybug is upside down but she doesn’t really mind, being on fire can be confusing. Next to them are completed nursery rhyme repeat patterns by Stevie Holyoke. At the front is a paper dress by Miss Keely made from little notes and scraps. I suspect it has a story I don’t know it yet.

And lastly we have some woven scarves, delightful felted boots, and woven/felted festival poncho. These are all by first year fibre arts I believe. At the back are some batiked silk kerchiefs, and entering stage right, a blur monster.

Clio Windust, Iddo van der Geer, and more.

It was a show we were all so proud of, and wildly successful to boot. I’ve never seen so many at an opening at our school gallery. The show is aptly named as it is beautifully textural, and the skill in our department really shines through. Yay us!