I’ve said before that I love the patterns produced by rust and weathered paint. The bold compositions produced by the elements working away at metal surfaces covered in their flimsy dressing of paint can rival those of some of the most venerated abstract expressionists. These canvases, however, are not so much the kind you find in museums, but rather on dumpsters, storage containers, parking lot barriers and such. Here are several examples of compositions of rust and weathered pain that caught my eye, several for producing patterns that were almost floral in appearance. (I realize that what these also look like are inkblots. What do you see in the pictures?)
The base of a lamp post in a parking lot in Providence, RI.
This was in Dublin. I think it was some sort of a garage door.
A parking lot barrier post in New York.
A parking lot post of some sort. In Massachusetts.
Some sort of wall at the Völklingen Ironworks, in Germany.
I imagine that many people don’t much notice the nitty-gritty details of places they frequent. I probably don’t much notice many of them myself. But I do have to say that I was rather amused to have noticed that a dumpster that sits next to a parking lot I frequent was swapped out for another dumpster. You see, I had previously admired the patterns made by the rust breaking through the bright blue paint on this particular dumpster. One pattern on the side reminded me of enameled jewelry. (Over a year ago, I posted a collection of photos I had accumulated of details of the patterns made by rust and weathered paint on the sides of dumpsters. The dumpster in question is featured in the top photo of that post.)
Upon realizing that there was a new (at least, new to the location, but certainly not newly fabricated) dumpster, I was happy to observe that the new arrival had its own pretty patterns of rust and striking abstract compositions.
The shapes of this bit remind me of a map, and the colors of earthenware pottery glazes.
The layers of various bright colors remind me again of enamelwork.
And this was just a pleasing abstract composition featuring the letter V. (Or maybe it’s a Y. I think it’s open to interpretation.)
Here are 5 standpipes (or sets of standpipes) that have caught my eye. Some caught my eye for their reflective shininess, and some for their weathered patina.
As I put these together, I saw that the 5 photos were neatly from 5 different years. (I had a 6th photo that was also from 2011, but it didn’t fit as well, so I didn’t include it.) Would you believe that it bugged me that I didn’t have a standpipe photo from 2012? Further, I noticed that it should have been of a weathered (rather than shiny) standpipe, in order to best complete the pattern. I actually started to look through my photos from that year before realizing that it was crazy to do so, especially given that I have more work to do tonight before bed, and it is after 11 p.m.. (This is the sort of compulsion that I’m talking about.)
One of the nearby farms we visit to pick fruit has a playground which prominently features a vintage tractor, long since retired from its days of labor in the fields. Kids love climb up into the seat behind the big steering wheel, and on busier days, there can even be a line to do so, with adults nearby taking advantage of the photo op. It’s fun to see the kids up on the tractor, certainly, but I also find myself drawn to the details of this old tractor. I see so much character in the peeling paint, the flakes of rust, the curves and lines and joints. There are several places on the tractor where the hardware (perhaps bolt heads) reminded me of flowers: the hexagonal shape was segmented such that it looked like a ring of petals around the central circle.
This week’s friday foto finder challenge was to share a favorite flower foto. Archie chose this theme in celebration of Spring, which has now sprung in the southern hemisphere. Here in the northern parts, many of the outdoor blooms have already died back. While I have loads of old photos of real flowers in my archives, these iron flowers called out to me.¹ To see what flowers others have picked, stop by the fff blog. (And won’t you consider joining in the foto-finding fun, too?)
¹ Writing about these iron flowers also gets the song Iron Flower by K’s Choice stuck in my head. ²
² I think this may constitute my first instance of embedding a video in a footnote. While there are plenty of footnotes in my academic writing, I have to say that they are much less amenable to multimedia.