Friday, 29 November 2013

beauty in decay

Ever visited pinterest and searched for the word "rust"?
It's incredible what a large number of people have pinboards over there showing rust in all its various kinds - and they all are (at least to them and to me) sooo beautiful! I often ask myself what it is that attracts us this much with rust or even other kinds of decay...just think about drift wood, pebble stones, fallen leaves, condemned houses, old theaters with wall papers peeling off and revealing a lot of layers underneath! 

Is it that feeling that we are allowed a glimpse through time - back in time but foward to the future as well? As if rusted objects - worn by time and nature - take us on a time travel at high speed. How will I look like when I will be seventy? Which kind of traces will time have left with me then?

I honestly love faces of people that show their wrinkles. From seeing them you can tell if the person has been leading a happy life or one filled with a lot of sorrow and bitterness. There's hardly anything more beautiful than smile wrinkles, isn't it?

Wrinkled faces of old people also often evoke some deep respect in me. They tell about experience and wisdom. Maybe I feel this kind of respect too when I look at timeworn and rusted objects that have been withstanding ages obviously.

During the summer holidays we visited my husband's uncle, who is a dedicated collector of timeworn and old things that tell stories too (and who has revived and renovated an old car all on his own during six years of searching and restoring).

He gave me a lot of rusted treasures from his shed for my creative work after taking a look at my blog - and I guess he was happy that he had found someone who shares his love for old and timeworn things. We spent a long time in his shed where he showed me a lot of the treasures he had found at flea markets and we enjoyed it so much.

 The two keys I used for the two panels were just one of his generous gifts (thank you so much, Uncle Helmut! :).They still have the labels on them that indicate their former purpose.

I also found (and fell in love with) a wonderful watchmakers cabinet on ebay some weeks ago and immediately knew that I wanted it for Christmas. As my wonderful husband loves what I do and supports me in it wherever he can, he immediately said "yes" and we were lucky to win the object. It's filled with over thousands of watch glasses in various sizes and I can't wait to incorporate them (bit by bit) into my future artwork!

He generously allowed me to already use two of them for this two panel project ;) :-X

But back to beauty and/in decay. We seem to mingle our idea of history and time with the look of timeworn objects, don't we?

They touch our souls and I love to question myself why.
Time travel, time that changes us and everything (but cannot be changed by us in return), time as our companion (and sometimes enemy), time as our (healing) friend, .... if you take a look at the incredible lot of ways humans deal with the phenomenon of "time" you get an idea about the power we attribute to time (and about the power it really has upon us).

And where does time ever get visible? In decay - caused by weather, water, wind, air or constant use.

One of my arts teachers at university (who taught "design" among other things) told us that the best working and most loved tools reveal themselves by their traces of use and wear...

...handles being "sanded" down by a thousand times of being held in sweaty hands, steps of stone stairs being sanded down by the feet of millions and billions of visitors walking on them, .... "You will recognise the most beloved tools by their signs of wear and abrasion" he said and I still love this saying as there's so much truth in it!

As I took a lot of pictures this time and I want to spare you the endless scrolling down I decided to offer you a closer glimpse on my two panels via a slide-show. I hope you like them!


You can click through the images of the slideshow by using the forward arrow button if the slideshow is too fast ;)

Hugs and happy creating,

Claudia x

Materials used: painting board, fine sand texture paste, two clock glasses, Adirondack Alcohol Inks, Ranger Distress Inks, DecoArt Traditions acrylic paints, eyelets, wire, rubber stamping (Prima) and embossing with Ranger embossing powder "Rust", stencils (Tim Holtz and TCW), scrapbooking papers and dictionary pages, copper plates and a Sizzix metal embossing folder, Artemio letter stamps, Ranger black jet archival ink


  1. Hammergenial liebe Claudia!
    ich bin begeistert!

    hab ein schönes Wochenende!

  2. Wow Claudia, incredibly fantastic pieces…I am in love!! Gorgeous textured background, colours and old rusty bits and pieces...really stunning!! Did I already said that I am in love? :)

  3. Great work! Wonderful details and colors.

  4. What fabulous projects! I love rusted things too! The texture on these is wonderful. I love them!

  5. Claudia what a beautiful post and the projects are stunning! I love rusted things for just the reasons you describe, this project is wonderful from beginning to end!

  6. boah die sind ja wieder traumhaft - einfach genial!!!!!!!
    LG Dagmar

  7. I sooooooo love this post ... what an incredible reflection on the impact of time. Fabulous pieces!!!! I love all the rust and texture and found objects. My thanks to Uncle Helmut and to your husband for their gifts. What amazing pieces to inspire your creativity!!! Claudia, you never cease to amaze me! Happy weekend!! -- Mary Elizabeth

  8. These are both so beautiful and almost timeless Claudia. Love the rusted peep holes at the top in particular. You've put me in mind of the old houses in Shoreditch where the layers of wallpaper peel back to show hundreds of years of fashion and design. Jenny x

  9. Oh how great this is, cannot you come to Holland and gave a workshop? Love it! and became follower of this blog!

  10. These are so fabulously full of texture, lover them.
    Amanda x

  11. Amazing pieces! Love the texture and time worn look to both. The rusty peepholes are fantastic!

  12. wie toll ist dass denn.....! ich ziehe wieder mal den kreativen hut vor dir, liebe claudia. DAS schaut toll aus - eine ganz wundervolle arbeit!
    bis bald - und herzliche grüße

  13. Completely wonderful... this is you at your absolute best - decay and beauty, amazing colours, textures and techniques, and incorporating wonderful unique finds in the work to match your unique creative thinking. A beautiful post to read too...

    The keys and the watch glasses combined with your amazing work make these very special works of art indeed.
    Alison xx

  14. Beide sind hammermäßig geworden, liebe Claudia.

    Ich wünsche Dir und Deinen lieben einen schönen 1. Advent

  15. CLAudia what a gorgeous tag! LOve both!!!! BArbarayaya

  16. Oooohhh...du hast wieder gezaubert (:o) Die Ahh's und Ooh's über die Einzelheiten erspare ich dir an dieser Stelle. Recht das ich hier schmachtend sitze!! (:o)

  17. What a sensationally lovely artworks!!!!!

  18. I guess...rust tells a story...of the past? Anyway your creations are stunning again Claudia...such clever details and great look in total! Have a nice Sunday, Alie :-)

  19. Zuerst einmal vielen Dank für Deinen lieben Kommentar auf meinem Blog. Da hast du aber wieder etwas ganz besonderes gemacht, Claudia! Absolut toll! Die Schlüssel mit den original Anhängern sehen super aus. Deine Gedanken zur Zeit und der Faszination von alten Dingen habe ich mit großer Zustimmung gelesen - vielen Dank dafür. Noch ein schönes Wochenende :)

  20. lovely choice and thank you for showing us your 2013 best of!
    Happy New Year to you xx

  21. Wow! really love this know I am years behind everyone else. Dee x


Thank you so much for your visit and especially for taking the time to leave me a short comment! This is highly appreciated! xxx