Barb Cone

Rust No. 5
crushed cardboard with gesso and rusting solution
11.5 x 12 x 4 in. | $300

After finishing a large body of work for a solo show, I knew I wanted to push ahead with more 3D work, but how and what? I experimented a bit by using my car to crush various-shaped lightweight cardboard boxes. The results were unpredictable, of course, but interesting—so I kept doing it. By the fall, I had bags of crushed cardboard, some with tire tracks still showing. I bought more boxes in as many sizes as I could find. Ran over those too.

I experimented with paint and mark-making on the various crushed boxes, using rusting solution, oil stick, and encaustic. The unevenness of the surfaces made it difficult to work on them. The rusting process involved many steps and multiple drying times, but I liked the transformation of the pieces into what looked like metal debris—something you might find on the street after a fender-bender. Loved the richness of the wax paint (encaustic), but it wasn’t meant to be used on vertical surfaces, so it often ran off into a puddle. I did a lot of painting over to build the surfaces. The oil stick was more cooperative, and l was pleased with the small, uneven “paintings” that resulted.

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© Barb Cone