lust for rust: in a modern house and our own experiments

We’re crazy for rusted metal. We love the intentionally-rusted corton steel planters used at the High Line have amassed a strangely beautiful collection of pieces we’ve found in our wanderings, like the three-sided forms we use as book or artwork stands. So we were smitten when we saw images of this very modern house designed by Blank Studio, with its juxtaposition of rusted corrugated metal and plexiglass. It made us run to look up how to intentionally rust corrugated metal (which you can do using photo acid and other methods).

It gave us some ideas for the ancient garden chair we’ve set out on the terrace to see what would happen if we let it rust, intentionally.

steel chair in the process of rusting

photo: sally schneider

Years ago, we spent hours stripping green enamel off that chair until we got it down to the raw steel and and it took on an oddly modern sculptural look. It WANTED to rust whenever it was humid, but we prevented it by waxing it occasionally. Now we’ve decided to let it do its thing, and see if we can achieve a patina that will give the chair an other look (perhaps sans arms). Here’s the progress so far:

steel chair in the process of rusting

photo: sally schneider

We have no idea how long it will take, or even if it will work. It may surprise us with some wonderful corrosion…Stay tuned for reports of our rust-in-process

via Japanese Trash

Related posts: chic rusty steel paperweight, via ‘the selby’
who says you can’t design your own table?
collective learning and teaching in brooklyn and beyond
painted stones for home a la max ernst
alt bookcases: stacks on stands

6 Responses to lust for rust: in a modern house and our own experiments

  1. Julie 09.07.2012 at 9:55am #

    Rusty things often shed their rust to stain your clothes, does your chair do that? I wonder what you would seal rust in with?

  2. Sally 09.08.2012 at 11:50am #

    Yes, I’ve been thinking I might have to seal it if it gets to a pinnacle of rust-perfectness. Right now, I’m just into watching it change, and seeing where it goes.

  3. Fast Forward 09.27.2012 at 12:47am #

    I think you have to wear dungarees and sit on it a lot.

  4. Sally 09.27.2012 at 12:54pm #

    Well IF it ever gets to looking like something good, I’ll figure out how to seal it. So far, it’s not going so great, but I’m gonna give it some time. It’s fun to watch the changes with each rain.

  5. Joel 10.25.2014 at 9:42am #

    You know that you can just spray it with vinegar, right? It will take years off of your wait and give you much more aesthetic control over rust distribution.

  6. Sally 10.27.2014 at 1:39pm #

    I had no idea. Well, it sat outside for a few months and got a lovely, durable patina. I’ll post it soon. Thanks so much for your idea.

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