In Week 5 of TAC Summer Camp, the campers visited the Museum of Art and Design to see the exhibition: Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft and Care. The core of Aguiñiga’s work is using materials and design to provide care and support for her community.
In response to this concept, the campers collected rusty objects found on the street and used them to dye fabric or woven textiles. This process is done by wrapping the rusty objects inside the fabric, and spraying it with a solution of water and vinegar and letting it sit for 24 hours. Some of them tried to create patterns depending on how they wrapped the objects, others placed them randomly, but, either way the results were surprising and beautiful.
They also conducted a site specific rust dyeing experiment. They found rusty fences, manholes and poles to dye their fabrics with. The results varied, but, this process keeps you engaged with your surroundings and forces you to pay attention to detail in a way you might not be used to.
When the fabrics were unwrapped, they had absorbed the scorched look of rust where the objects were directly touching. They dipped the fabric in salt to stop the oxidizations process, and then washed them. Some of the campers also dipped their fabrics in tea to create a cooler shade of grey that contrasted the red-orange.
They used their newly dyed fabrics to create vests with pockets on the sides and the back, with the purpose of collecting litter on the street and taking care of the environment. This project helped us take notice of the overlooked and consider our relationship to the environment.