Salt explorations 

Reviewing the piece of work I created for the artist’s eye project, I know I like the effect of using salt as a stiffening agent and I feel that this aids the sense of loss through enabling the physical sense of being whilst also showing the lack of physicality.

Vessels continue to hold a fascination for me as a way of containing something or showing emptiness.

With this in mind as well as evaluating my previous salt inspired samples, I have decided to go back to the drawing board.

I have been fascinated with the work of Beili Liu and remembered her carbon glass globes ‘Current’

The idea of time passing visualized by evaporation is cleverly and clearly shown here in this work. For me the use of carbon focuses our attention on ourselves because carbon forms the basic building blocks of the human body. Salt exposes our transient and precariousness nature.

I started to think about exploring knitted vessels, stiffened with salt to convey our precariousness. The ease with which they would collapse when water is added. I think the use of black as a darkness within us both in terms of our inevitable ends as well as moments of sadness is important for me too.

I knitted a small basic hat pattern as a vessel to start with.

I then used bought Jewish kippah’s to experiment with salt on as it would take a long time to knit several samples.

I grew Epsom salt crystals on the first and added Chinese ink to a small section (shown on the left) this ink seemed to separate and defend the sparkle of the crystals. After looking online for tutorials for growing black salt crystals, I realised others had used black food coloring. I bought black food coloring but when added to Epsom salts the black turns a blue green color.

Thinking I hadn’t made the black dark enough I added a more concentrated colour to a second sample.

But this still didn’t work.

I tried adding the colour to normal table salt in case it was just the Epsom salts.

But this looks exactly the same. After some thought and a conversation with one of the studio artists I tried adding food colouring to alum.

This does retain the colour.

I will continue experimenting.



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