Learning Flexibility

Hi Friends,

It’s been two weeks, so I opened up some of the mold pieces to see how they were progressing. Surprisingly, the lemon and red onion slices had completely dried out without leaving much of a mark on the fabric. Even though I had them sandwiched between pieces of Plexiglas to keep the moisture in.

Cassandra Tondro mold dyeing

Cassandra Tondro mold dyeing

The beet slices turned into hard pieces of petrified wood, and they had been sealed inside of a black garbage bag. I’ve never seen anything like it before, and I don’t know how that happened. Usually fruits and vegetables begin to decompose quickly and turn to mush.

Cassandra Tondro mold dyeing

The results were disappointing, but I decided to go with the flow and continue working with these pieces of fabric. The mold marks became the first step in a layering process rather than an end result in-and-of themselves.

For the second layer I used rust, wetting the fabric with a dilute vinegar solution and wrapping it up with pieces of rusty metal. This looks a lot more promising. You can still see some of the circular mold marks on this piece.

Cassandra Tondro rust dyeing

On the piece below, I layered rusty rebar along with some eucalyptus leaves. This is my favorite so far. Once again note the circular mold marks showing through.

Cassandra Tondro rust dyeing

I’m thinking of doing some stitching on these pieces next, and then mounting them on handpainted fabric, or perhaps natural burlap or linen.

As often happens, it’s a case of things not going according to plan, and having to be flexible and making adjustments along the way. Which is sometimes easier said than done!

Where do you have to be flexible in your life? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. Hi Cassandra
    I too tried the vegetation experiment…l rolled them up in a cotton table cloth wrapped in wool fabric and steamed the bundle with vinegar in a semi submersed rust bath for a couple of hours. Let it cool for a day. The results weren’t all that great either. What did turn out fabulous was the wool fabric the bundle was wrapped in. I’ll send a pic by email.
    The table cloth has faint and subtle markings and like you mentioned about being flexible in your experiment, it’s not a total loss, as it is a starting point that layers can be added on to it…
    Our lives can be like that…we can give up, become discouraged and despondent because of situations, health and present world events… but a change in perspective and being flexible can put us in a better stead. One more layer in our
    lives that can bring beauty to the total inward composition.
    Thanks for sharing your creative processes ❤️

    PS living in Canada, we can get some extreme weather conditions. For a few years l tried Eco bundles with vegetation, bleeding tissue paper and anything else that l thought would decay and transfer. This process worked really well.
    The bundle stayed on my deck in a metal mesh basket that rusted outwardly all winter( the waiting was hard ) I had some really good rotting mold impressions along with everything else. I think l will try this again. Something to look forward to in the spring.

    1. Hi Debbie,
      I love how you apply the layering process you our lives. Really nice comparison.
      Yes, the waiting with this kind of work is the hard part. Interesting that you got good mold results in the winter. Maybe summer is too hot for mold. I hadn’t considered that.
      Thanks for much for sharing your process and the results. Really fabulous!

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