Monday, January 19, 2015

- Caution: Road hazard ahead

I have recently taken up a potentially hazardous activity: metal detecting. But not with a metal detector ... I just walk around looking for stuff on the ground.

For instance, on our recent road trip to St Louis I decided to find one piece of metal at each of our hourly stretch-stops ... conveniently forgetting that it would likely be cold and windy, which did shorten the time I spent searching, but I still found a few things (with some help from Don).

Anyway, here's where the hazardous part comes in: when one is looking intently at the ground in a parking lot, one is far less likely to pay attention to cars and trucks that happen to be rolling by. And the drivers of said vehicles are for sure not expecting one to make a pedestrian 180 in pursuit of the perfect souvenir.

Still, hazardous or not, I'm hooked. And have since begun turning the treasure gleaned from road trips and Junkology jaunts, into the ultimate science experiment ...

Rusted metal objects after 24 hours
in contact with vinegar-soaked muslin

Round one consisted of placing multiple layers of dry cotton cloth on a metal-top table, on top of which I put one layer of vinegar-soaked cotton muslin, topped it with a variety of metal objects, then covered the objects with another layer of vinegar-soaked muslin. 

At which point I realized the vinegar-soaked muslin wasn't wet enough to stick to the metal ... so I did some fast thinking and spritzed like crazy with a water bottle. After which I crossed my fingers and weighted everything down with some old boards.

Impatient as I am, I peeked (of course I did) within 24 hours. And when I saw not only the expected rust color, but turquoise, I downright squealed.

"eeeeeeeeee" (to quote Grace).

Here are a few more shots ...

What I saw just before the big "reveal" ... eeeeeeeee

Close up of  a rusted door knob (left), tiny metal candy cutters (right)
and a round metal something-or-other (bottom)

Who knew cheese graters could be so cool?

All as yet unwashed ... which is to say, as intense as they are likely to get. But no matter ... I've already planned the next round, which will include wet padding above and below, under and overlaid by plastic trash bags to retain moisture.

The question is, can I wait more than 24 hours before peeking? Don't hold your breath ... and for sure be on the lookout for absent-minded pedestrians if you happen to be in my neck of the woods.


17 comments:

yvette said...

oh yes...been there....hooked
caution!

yvette said...

not belgium but dutch

Liz Ackert said...

Already have a new yard of muslin set up ... let the timing begin

Liz Ackert said...

Oh I do beg your pardon ... and here perhaps I can ask: is "Netherlands" or "The Netherlands" preferred?

Dana said...

Eeeeeee is right. What the heck produces turquiose? I know how hard it can be to wait. I often find myself fiddling with the edges, trying for a peek. There have been disasters because of that.

Liz Ackert said...

Copper maybe? I dunno ... will have to photograph the object to see if anyone can figure out what it is ... I paid $5 for two of them

Marti said...

Liz, there must be some copper in those objects even though from what I can see, they don't look like they have any copper in them ?! I have gotten the same shade of blue when I've used vinegar saturated cloth on copper and I also got that blue when in a fit of wanting to bundle some green stuff, I sacrificed some arugula, plunked it in my little copper pot and could not believe my eyes when that light turquoise appeared...

patricia said...

just tried to post? anyway, here goes again--love the results AND the instructions

Liz Ackert said...

Several of the objects that went to turquoise were a dusty gray/black to begin with ... so yes, I wouldn't have guessed copper until I saw the color. A newer object that had untarnished copper yielded the same color.
Anyway, I'm wondering how persistent the color will be over time ... do you find it holds up to sunlight and washing?
P.S. I took some funky arugula out to the compost/critter feeding station just before reading your comment. Oh well, next time I'll know better.

Liz Ackert said...

Sorry, Blogger's comment utility can be cranky, especially when posting from a smart phone ...
Anyway, thanks for persisting and for the encouragement. I took more pictures of the layers in progress for the next round. It will be interesting to see how adding water to the padding works out.

Marti said...

Natural dyeing does fade in sunlight and over time but then I don't have any of my cloths in direct sunlight. In the beginning I washed all of my dyed cloths but don't anymore. I stopped because most of what I make are cloth collages for walls. Sometimes though they do get a rinse when I am unbundling any rusty bits or stuck on green matter. Also, while the arugula did give off the bluish copper color, I'm sure it had more to do with the copper pot tan the arugula. And I know it has been mentioned before but water plays a big role in color, even when we all use the same dye materials and the same type of dye cauldron.

Liz Ackert said...

One of these days when I get super-organized, I will try dyeing with distilled water and well water to see the difference ... if I am to believe my nose, we have a significant amount of sulfur coming up from our 900' well, not to mention the limestone within which the water rests before making its journey to the surface.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

stufff in your well water might work in your behalf

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

what is that long strip of squares...the three layers????????

Liz Ackert said...

A piece of scrap metal from Junkology ... have no idea what its original purpose was, but I knew as soon as I saw it that it would make an amazing grid on cloth. Want one?

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

oh all mouth watering images, the first is in itself a beautiful still life

Liz Ackert said...

Sometimes the pictures take themselves ... I just try to stay out of the way