If you were to ask me about Chemistry, I might say that it is a science about all the things in the world, and the changes, bursts, fizzes, and whatnots of everything bumping into every other thing. Obviously, it is something I know almost nothing about it.
I also know very little, academically, about art.
But I can tell you where Chemistry and Art intersect. In the rusty showers and tubs of Indianapolis, I have seen the magic of chelation create masterpieces reminiscent of Pollock.
It happened one day when I left a circle of Bar Keepers Friend around the drain of a rusty shower floor.
When I finally returned with a bucket and towel, I realized that without scrubbing or engaging the area at all, I could simply rinse it away and there it was— a perfect stark white circle.
I rinsed the other haphazard trails that the wide-mouthed bottle had made. The thick, chalky streams had run from the shower to the floor, branching, crossing, and joining at the whim of gravity.
It was no longer just oxalic acid and rust: it was a spontaneous, accidental, and emotive painting in bursts and streaks of white on sunset-orange.
I excitedly gathered my co-workers from the many corners of this West Clay home to gaze at this miracle. And crowded there in this rarely used guest bathroom, they looked at it, and then at me… like I had inhaled too many chemical fumes.
Bar Keepers Friend is made right here in Indianapolis and has been since 1882. It is local, effective, and sometimes even beautiful. This is an unsolicited endorsement. I’m just nice like that.