Beth Miller
Corrugated Iron - Iron Lace

Corrugated iron has been used all over Australia, particularly in the outback where building resources were scarce. It is strong and adaptable and was used for such things as fences, roofs, schools, outhouses, dog kennels and shearing sheds. As the iron ages oxidation occurs, the colour changes from silver to oranges, reds, browns and ochres, lichen grows in areas creating crusty patterns. Rusty holes that look like iron lace appear allowing the background to be viewed through the organic shapes. Even in age the iron may not serve its original purpose but takes on a beauty of its own.

Captains Flat, an old mining town close to Canberra, is where you go to find rust heaven. The corrugated iron has weathered, warped and twisted and the colours are warm and invite you for a closer inspection. Lichen grows on the metal to create crusty and beautiful patterns and the wind whistles through the many holes to a song of its own while the loose iron taps in tune.

The corrugated iron panels were appliquéd to the background. Each panel was hand embroidered with wool and cotton thread. Seeding, cross stitch and french knots were used plus beads and felt buttons were hand made to create the crusty patterns. Holes were burnt in the panels and edges to create the lacy organic effect. The cotton background was machine quilted and the fence posts were applied with fused appliqué.

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