Alice Fox weave with found metal (detail)

I’m working on a series of sculptural pieces that are woven in linen, each made specifically to relate to a piece of found metal. I then manipulate the cloth so that it responds directly to the metal: encasing it, wrapping it, slotting through it etc. The metal is then allowed to stain the weave where it is in contact with the rust, with the aid of seawater.

Alice Fox weave with found metal stained

The first uses a metal pipe that I collected on Holkham Beach in Norfolk. The object is linked to the place in my mind because that is where I found it. It is therefore completely ‘of the place’ to me, even if the object has no other significant link to there: I have no idea what its history is prior to me picking it up.

Alice Fox looped weave with found metal hoop

The next piece takes a metal hoop as as starting point. The strip of tapestry weave sits gathered and looped within the hoop, extending either side.

Alice Fox weave with found metal hoop stained

The third piece is shown here just off the loom with its warp ends still waiting to be finished, but looking rather beautiful in their wild arrangement. There is a hole in the cloth, ready for its designated metal to slot into.

Alice Fox weave with hole

Each stage of the process is slow and to be savoured: the weaving by hand, beating each weft down to cover the warp; stitching each warp thread back into the weave; the staining of the cloth by the rusty metal as it dries.

18 thoughts on “stained

  1. If only there were 48 hours in the day, 24 just for me to explore and experiment. You are a source of inspiration stored up for the luxury of time. Thanks a million.

    • Thanks Jennifer. I won’t be in the studio much now for a few weeks as our summer holidays have started so I have kids to entertain

  2. Our group walk ‘bouquet’, collection of in season hedgerow specimens, pales into insignificance…but it does tax our brains when we see them in December and have to remember when we collected them!! Well done on the rust and leaves series and your recent publication…judith

  3. It is brave of you to spend so much time weaving pristine white linen only to have it be ruined by the rust.

    I know that it is not ruined, it is transformed, but our mothers were justifiably concerned about rust stains – so you are purposefully staining something that you recently created.

    The metaphors astound, and lead my mind into many directions what could happen. This is very inspiring work, and thank you for posting about it.

    • Thank you Judy. Interesting you use the word ‘ruined’! I sometimes have to take a deep breath before allowing the pure white to change. It is beautiful in its white phase but we have to take leaps of faith to discover new things don’t we?

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