By now I have discovered which rusty parts of the Edna give me no prints, some prints and really good prints. Rust results from exposure of iron or steel to oxygen (air) and moisture (water). The process can be intensified through contaminants such as salt. I found information on the Internet about the different kinds of rust. There are four easily distinguishable categories:
Red rust or hydrated oxide (Fe2O3•H2O) which results from constant exposure of iron to air, water and, in this case, salt.
Yellow rust or iron oxide-hydroxide (FeO(OH)H2O) which can be found in areas that are constantly exposed to high moisture, like standing water.
Brown rust or oxide (Fe2O3) which is a drier form of rust and most likely atmospheric, i.e. a reaction to humid air and contaminants such as salt.
Black rust or iron (II) oxide (Fe3O4) which forms in a low-oxygen environment like under water.
For a good result of my dye experiments, the overall firm contact of cloth and oxidised metal is important. I learned by experiment that this excludes a large amount of rusty remains which cannot be properly wrapped either for their size or place, as e.g. on the bow of the vessel where attachment is a challenge if not impossible.
A little bay at the end of Ava Tapu beach where bits and pieces are stuck between blocks of coral has become my prefered ‘harvesting’ ground. My dogs enjoy our excursions there, because they like playing with the crabs that hide between the boulders.
This rusty rod is my absolute favourite rust supplier. It leaves wonderful traces on my pieces of cloth.