View Full Version : I blame Sam...
11-25-2003, 05:11 AM
Just look at what has become of my shiny painted surfaces...
11-25-2003, 05:14 AM
This is shotblasted mild steel, chemically rusted, and waxed hot (beeswax) and cold (tan boot polish).
11-25-2003, 09:16 AM
Love the boot polish. Try Cordova or mole skin. They give great reds and greens.
11-25-2003, 11:28 AM
I love this finish and plan to steal it. How and what was the chemical rusting process?
11-25-2003, 05:45 PM
Ooooohh! Now you're speaking my language! I love it!
What kind of chemicals did you use? Did you just heat up the wax on the stove and rub it on? Why did you put the polish over the wax and not vice/versa? Does the polish transfer to your hands if you touch it?
This is a beautiful finish. I may just steal it for indoor works so I don't have to waste my Cor-ten on them.
11-25-2003, 05:47 PM
BTW, what are the dimensions of this piece?
11-25-2003, 08:02 PM
Hey ROB,.... First a personal thanks getting me home. I gave you an Acknowledge to the whole group in the new members say hello thread.
From browsin around here I scence you have some stimulus from a nearby Ocean,...... of course. Being a rider of waves and a total Ocean and beach person myself, My views tend to drift toward liquified movement in art.
that is why,
I am focused point blank on the curved flat square. my eye wants to reject the small hollow box inserted in it at the top and the horizontal bar just below it. You seemed to have taken the vertical thrust out that I am so drawn to in a similar piece you did which by the way, No vertical line. Whoa,..... didnt mean to contradict,... but the piece still rises without the vertical line. I did a little phot shop on where I saw a horizon line opening, but the one without was the better piece. the viewer has to kind of bend over, making the curved steel, tower over the viewer like a wave or a towering hull of a ship. They wouldnt see past the sculpture but be more consious that it is there. The texture in this thread is right on,... sort of dark and deep. Just my opinion. Rob
11-26-2003, 01:27 AM
Rob that is a very interesting idea, to hollow the square like that. I'm going to put serious thought to that. The work is just standing in my way in the workshop until I can be sure.
As for this finish. Look it's experimental, so I cannot be sure about anything much until a few weeks pass.
I had the steel shotblasted to approx 80 grit (like sandpaper). Then I rusted with boiling salted water - tablespoon to 5 litres. Alternated with dilute hydrochloric acid (pickling paste with water), lemon juice (I said experimental!) - but mostly boiling salty water. I also sprayed Ferric Nitrate in places, and generally tried to get some character in the surface. In honesty, I can only suggest boiling salted water, the rest was fun but not effective. Although the acids helped remove some unwanted staining in the steel.
I used beeswax, on the warm steel, running a propane torch over it to 'boil' it into the rusted surface. The boot polish buffs clean to touch. I put it over the clear wax so I could control the colour saturation, and because I thought it a harder finish.
I think I may not have had the steel hot enough. In fact I'm almost certain that I'll have to bring it back from the gallery and run my oxy torch over it, bringing the steel up to 100-200C plus, and adding fresh beeswax. It may well just burn, and put me back to square one. But again, having the steel hot enough to fizz the wax looks essential in sealing the rust.
It is 80cm high.
What is mole skin, pray tell?
11-26-2003, 09:56 AM
Mole skin is a couler silver\green. If you will look at "Couple By Attitude' on my web, you will see both cordova and mole skin as patination. Heat of the metal's surface is of bigest concern. Too hot the wax will boil off, Too cool the pores are not suficintly dilated. I would use first the boot polish, then bee's wax.
Art is provocation. Go forth and provoke.
11-26-2003, 10:34 AM
The heating with a torch part is the only thing that concerns me with my work. I tend to make irregular forms with a "skin" of only 16 gauge steel. I might notice some deformation from the heat. On the other hand, being so thin it should reach optimal heat quickly at least. Do you apply the wax with a brush? rag?
When rusting cor-ten, I only use salt water myself. I'd estimate I use a cup and a half per two liters but that is just about saturation point. I often have numerous salt deposits on the finished sculpture, but since I place them outside, it all just washes off in the rain.
11-26-2003, 03:29 PM
Don't call me Sir! It makes me feel like I'm being arrested :D
Robert, your work is amazing. I'd looked ages ago, but this time it sunk in better for some reason.
Sam, I recently went interstate for a show and visited a sculptor called Greg Johns - http://users.senet.com.au/~gregjohn/ - he coats all his cor-ten work with fish oil, and advises once a year, dependant on local conditions. There is also some other oil (anyone know?) based on lanolin.
As for the heating, ideally I'd use a kilm. Thinking about your problem re-thin steel. You'd want to use a broadly fanned flame, and a lower heat source like propane gas. But I suspect that the heat staining will be lost beneath the rust anyway.
As for the boot polish first, well the rusted surface takes up a lot of wax on the first application. Perhaps wax / polish / wax is a preferred option. But I see no problem with the boot polish coming off at present.
Further, I was mucking around with water based acrylic (canvas paint) washes over rusted steel yesterday. Very interesting. Diluted colours (like strong cordial) poored over the warm steel. It dries off as a very subtle colour stain, with runs like a natural stain. Assuming that the rust can be checked, this colouring should persist.
11-26-2003, 04:35 PM
No Sir Yes Sir RH
I've a friend who uses acrylic on bronze. "The best white goin'"
Art is provocation. Go forth and provocate.
11-26-2003, 04:44 PM
Thanks for the link, RH. That's some nice work there. I'll look into rounding up some fish oil. Could be a good "conditioner" for older sculptures. I believe the steel needs several years exposure to the elements to achieve a final, mature finish. After that, adding some oil might be a good idea. I keep a close eye on the condition of my sculptures and works 5+ years old show no sign of degradation. I'm happy with the material.
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