‘Bleed’ is a series of cedar cabinets by Peter Marigold featuring the effect of oxidized metal bleeding into wood.

Known as ‘ebonizing’ or blackening of wood, Peter Marigold became inspired by the phenomena when he noticed it on wooden fencing nearby his home. The blackening is caused by the use of steel instead stainless steel nails, although even the use of an uncoated steel hammer can contaminate the nails and lead to the same effect.

To reproduce the bleeding effect, Marigold made these cabinets with tongue-and-groove cedar cladding and steel hardware that had been stripped of its zinc coating with hydrochloric acid. The cabinet pieces were then exposed to the outdoor elements for a period of time. The chemical reactions that followed between the rain, uncoated steel hardware and the natural tannins within the cedar wood resulted in these soulful ‘bleeding’ patterns.

In describing his work, Marigold says the following: ‘I intended a double meaning in the use of the word ‘bleed’. On the one hand the steel is bleeding into the cedar, but I am also interested in the point at which a regular man made form takes on character, the point at which nature takes a foot hold in the things that we create to drag them back down into the mud. The man made becomes mortal again.’

Following the Bleed series, Marigold has been applying this technique to cashmere in place of wood. In his series Oyuna, cashmere pieces are folded asymmetrically, held down by pieces of steel and then soaked in order to activate the oxidization. Patterns of rust penetrate through the folds.

You can see more of Peter Marigold’s inspiring material works and object here.