Corroded metal becomes fabric design

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Image called "Embroidered rust"
Image called “Embroidered rust”

As I walked along the pontoon there was a pile of small, dark, irregular pieces of…what? I had no idea. On closer inspection it was fragments of corroded, rusted metal.

There’s often lots of maintenance work going on at Newlyn harbour; painting, repairs, rubbing down, greasing, cleaning. You name it, everything is on the to do list: ropes, nets, hulls, decks, engines, pulleys, winches, buoys, fenders, etc, etc.

But they were beautiful!

pile of corroded chippings
pile of corroded chippings

Each piece had sharp points and angles on broken edges but the surfaces were magic. Layers of bright oranges and dark ochres and intricate patterns of rust and corrosion.

There were threads of gold and red and even deep blues, purples and greens.

The textured surfaces looked like a richly dyed fabric with embroidered details. Stitches of brightly coloured golden silks meandering across velvety plateaus and dropping over sharp, dark escarpments.

As I took some close up shots of one shard in particular I was thinking what a wonderful design it would make for some fabric. The piece were only the size of a postage stamp but the image has been printed at over one metre square to create a unique scarf! It’s also been turned into a beautiful cushion.

scarf fabric featuring "embroidered rust" design
scarf fabric featuring “embroidered rust” design
cushion featuring rust detail
cushion featuring rust detail

On another design the same image has been repeated both vertically and horizontally, mirroring the original to create an interesting new design and a different scarf.

All these lovely items from a discarded piece of corroded metal…I mean treasure!

fabric design with mirror repeat
fabric design with mirror repeat