Friday, November 4, 2011

Rust Print, an explanation

I am still exploring the “Rust Print” process.  Most of what I have made so far won’t be exhibited until the Spring and Fall of 2012 but I have rusted and mounted to panel a few of my images and they will be on display at the Heron’s Nest this December.

Here is a little bit about my process. 

Vashon islander Bob Powell of Meadow Creature helped me to cut mild and Corten steel to the shapes I had designed using his high pressure water jet machine.  The water jet cutting process is ideal for cutting intricate shapes and because the machining introduces no stress and little if any heat the steel plates remain quite flat.  I next made the shaped steel plates to rust with several applications of hydrogen peroxide, salt and vinegar.  Next I lay the substrate I wished to transfer the rust to over the plate and thoroughly dampened it before placing wax paper or plastic over everything to hold in the moisture. Next a sheet of plate glass was placed over everything to provide surface contact and weight.  I tried to rust dampened paper but found that high thread count muslin worked much better, perhaps because of the materials tensile strength and the cotton’s desire to hold moisture.  The paper rusted but tore upon removing it from the plate.  The last step? Wait and wait some more.  Rust will  eventually transfer into the material and a unique image is made.  This is technically a mono print because every print will rust differently but the plate shape is constant.

 Above is an image of one of the rusted plates along with the rust image I made from it. 


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