Digging up the Erosion bundle

25 Apr

Well it is Springtime here. And time to dig up the erosion bundle from last fall. How many of you buried something last fall? If you did, go dig it up now and see what happened to all the bits and pieces you used. For those of you who might be new readers, you can see what we did on this post here.

I started with some papers and ribbons and silk fabrics along with some silk flowers and rusty metal and coffee grounds and leaves and branches and just a lot of stuff. I wasn’t sure what would be the best stuff to use, so I threw in a little bit of everything.

My erosion bundle before burying it last fall.

Then buried it in the flower garden out back. Then Winter came and went and we had very little snow and moisture all year. We did water the lawn and shrubs a few times, so there was some water added, but not a whole lot! So I wasn’t sure what to expect from my bundle. Would it have really eroded away enough for me to notice? Was there enough moisture in the flower garden to do anything? So that is why I waited so long to dig it up. Normally, you might be able to dig up your bundle after only 3-4 months. I wanted to wait as long as possible.

So yesterday I dug it up.

My erosion bundle after digging it up.

The outside didn’t really seem to have changed a whole lot, although I could see some color changes from the Silk Sari ribbon I had tied around the outside. It seemed to have bled into the silk somewhat. But the packet was covered in dirt and I needed to let it dry out (it was wetter than I expected) and then see what the inside held for me.

Today I took it all apart after letting it air dry overnight. The fabrics did get some nice distressing and coloring, although the rusty stuff ate through part of my silk scarf (darn). So using silks and PFDs (prepared for dyeing fabrics) did absorb some color and rusting from the other bits and pieces that were part of the bundle.

Lovely silk scarf. This is the best piece.

Raw silk with some nice coloration.


Some of the other fabrics.


The napkins and baby wipes included also had some nice discoloration, although it wasn’t very dark. The paper bits mostly just fell apart. Although some of the pages had some good ageing from the dirt and moisture and will be able to be used in some artwork.

Some of the paper bits look good.

Some more paper bits that I like.

The magazine pages I had included, hoping the inks from the pages would bleed onto the fabric and old book pages, but that didn’t really happen. They mostly just got slimy and icky. The cardboard really absorbed the moisture and is still very wet today, so I’ll see how it looks once it is completely dry, but it doesn’t look like it was altered very much.

All in all, it was interesting to do, and now I have some information about what to do and what NOT to do on my next erosion bundle. I like the aged effect that some of the book pages and the fabrics took on.  The rusty stuff worked well, although I can rust fabric much quicker if I need it. The Sari ribbon and the silk flowers did bleed into the fabric and leave some nice coloration. The leaves and branches didn’t seem to do much. I had hoped I might see some imprints of them onto the paper and fabric, but it didn’t quite work out that way. The ribbons and trims I added in had very minimal change.  All in all, it was fun and interesting, but quite a lengthy process for the results I got. I might do it again with some other bits and pieces and see if I can get some different results that might be more unexpected.  I do like knowing I have some one-of-a-kind altered bits to be used in some mixed media art work. The fun part for me is the unexpected results that might happen. I’m not really doing it for a particular project or a specific result, so it’s all good in the end.

What did you like or dislike about your erosion bundles? Did you get the results you expected? Will you do it again? Were you disappointed? Do you have a project in mine to use the erosion bundle parts on?

4 Responses to “Digging up the Erosion bundle”

  1. Sonja Milojevic April 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Wow! Deb, I have never heard of this process but I like it very much! I might try doing that in the future. I think your pieces came out beautiful! I love every piece of fabric, and the papers look great!


    • Deb Prewitt April 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      I hope you give it a try. It’s just something fun and interesting to do.


  2. Cyndi Pink April 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    That does sound cool – I have heard of people hanging things outside for several days, but I really like the idea of packaging different materials together to see how they “meld”. Can you do it any time of the year. Does a watered area of the yard work best?


    • Deb Prewitt April 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      It is the same principle as those that tie a bundle to a tree or fence, but just buried in the ground instead. I’m sure you can do it at any time of the year you like. If there is a lot of water in the area, you don’t need to leave it buried for as long. Like I said there wasn’t much moisture this winter, so I left it out for over 6 months I think. But over the Spring and Summer months, you might only need to leave it out for 2-3 months. It’s all a mystery!


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