Rust Diaries

Rust Diaries is a series of works exploring the potential marks and stains made by found rusty metal. These objects form a record of activity, collected on an almost daily basis. Small found objects collected whilst walking are stitched around and over; trapping, covering and embedding them with stitch or layers of cloth. The resulting pieces are then exposed, either to the elements outside over a period of time, or to the chemical action of tea. The resulting stains on the surrounding cloth and stitch develops over time and with no further intervention. This is slow mark-making, which explores the potential of the everyday discarded object.

Some of the Rust Diaries was shown as part of Meticulous Stitchers at Unit Twelve Gallery 4 June – 29 August 2015.

Alice Fox 49 Beer Bottle Tops1

Alice Fox 76 Hair Grips1

Alice Fox rust diaries in preparationAlice Fox rust diaries (detail)

Alice Fox 49 Beer Bottle Tops side view

28 thoughts on “Rust Diaries

  1. Hi Alice,
    Thank you again for a most inspiring workshop today. You were so generous with all your information.

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  5. Hi Alice,
    I find your work very interesting! I’m attending an art college in Carmarthen and I am trying to experiment more in what I do, I’m struggling with ideas at the moment. Did you wrap fabric around metal object and use tea to print the rust onto the fabric? Any other suggestions? My project is about my dads garage so any help and suggestions would be great in terms of what I could do? Thank you!

    • Hi Holly. I think you hit the (rusty) nail on the head: experimenting is what you need to do – trying things out is the best way to learn and to find what works for you and what doesn’t. Tea and rust is a good place to start… Good luck with your course.

  6. Oh what a joy to have found you and your beautiful work..! I have been collecting rusty ‘things’ for years and have many boxes filled with pieces I’m “going to do something with ..” My friends call me Joseph(ine) Cornell..! Your work really ‘speaks’ to me and I feel so excited to have discovered your fabulous work and for finally not being the only one to see beauty in the discarded and the rusty objects that become my treasure.

  7. Hey Alice I’m doing my GCSE art exam book at the moment and I’m experiencing with rust. I really love your rust diaries, and all your projects! When dying with tea do I need to add any salt or anything and where a the he best places the he find rusted objects because I’m stuggerling finding any!

    • Hi Francesca. You don’t need to add anything else to the tea – it has tannic acid in it which reacts with the rust to make marks. If you can get hold of a copy of my book (Natural Processes in Textile Art) through your school library or Art department there is a whole chapter in there about the methods I use with tea and also suggestions of where to source rusty objects. I am an opportunist, so I just collect things when I see them: from the street, on some beaches. If you know anyone with tins of screws or washers in their shed or garage they might let you have some… Good luck with your GCSE.

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  9. I am using your work to inspire me for a design to go on my sculpture for my GCSE art I think the work with rust is truly amazing. I am analysing some of it for my homework and I have so many good things to say about it

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  11. Hi Alice,
    I love your work! I am currently studying you for my art A level as I am looking at rust. Would you be able to advise me on the best way to create rust?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Amy. I don’t really create rust, I just make use of objects that are already rusty to make marks on paper and cloth.
      Can you send me an email if you have questions? Hopefully I can help.

  12. Hi I have loved looking at your work, I have been looking at it as part of my ALevel art course and was wondering is there anything in particular that inspires you to do what you do, anything that you base the way you arrange the rusted objects or anything like that?

  13. These are the pieces that made my friends and I fall in love with your work. This is amazing and I truly truly feel in hundreds of years they will be catalogued and recorded as important history in museums across the world.

  14. I’m using your work within my Fine Art degree at the moment as I feel the way you work with rust is truly beautiful. I have seen a certain piece of yours on Pinterest and I can’t seem to find any information on the post itself, I’ll attach the link to the post. It would be a great help if you were able to let me know what materials you have used :)))

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