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Salt crystal art

Salt crystal art

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Published by Powerhouse Museum
Discover why salt naturally absorbs moisture. We use the snowflake patterns created by sprinkling salt crystals on watercolour paint to make Christmas cards. hey can be used to make all sorts of artworks.
Discover why salt naturally absorbs moisture. We use the snowflake patterns created by sprinkling salt crystals on watercolour paint to make Christmas cards. hey can be used to make all sorts of artworks.

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Categories:Topics
Published by: Powerhouse Museum on Dec 05, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/08/2014

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 THE SCIENCE LAB
Make & Do Activity Kit 
500 Harris St UltimoPO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 Australia Tel: 02 6217 0111http://play.powerhousemuseum.com This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Salt crystal watercolour art 
Discover why salt naturally absorbs moisture. We use the snowflake patterns created by sprinkling salt crystals on watercolour paint to make Christmas cards. They can be used to make all sorts of beautiful art.
 Time:
 
1 hour 
Difficulty:Hints:
Non absorbent paper, dark coloured inks and fine grained salt will make the best snowflake effects.
Either draw a shape on your paper or leave it blank to cut out shapes later. Mix up a dark coloured ink. Paint in large strokes over your page.
1.
Quickly sprinkle salt over  your paint. Try to scatter salt over all areas of  your painted surface. Try to avoid piles of salt as individual grains work best.
2.
 You will notice that as the salt is soaked up towards the salt crystals it forms patterns similar to snowflakes.
3.
Paint different colours so that you have a variety to choose from. Dark colours will show the effect better.  Try stripes of different colours or patterns.
4.
 Allow to dry fully then, using a piece of paper or  your fingers, scrape off all the salt. This should reveal a snowflaked pattern..
5.
Use your patterned paper to create cards and decorations. You will find more ideas for your artwork on page 2 and templates  you could use on page 3.
6.
thick white paper/card
water 
a pallette or plate
inks or watercolours in dark shades
wide paint brush
protected workbench
coloured card
a pencil or pen
fine grained salt
What you will need:
 
500 Harris st. UltimoPO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238Australia Tel: 02 9217 0111http://play.powerhousemuseum.comCreative Commons Licence for use of this workThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Australia Licence (CC BY-NC 3.0 AU)http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au/
 The success of this activity depends upon the paper not being too absorbent. If the paint soaks into the paper too quickly, the salt won’t have time to absorb it and create the snowflake effects. Darker paint colours work best as they will show this effect better. Fine grained salt crystals will absorb better than larger grains.
Note:
 
Page 2
500 Harris St UltimoPO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 Australia Tel: 02 6217 0111http://play.powerhousemuseum.com This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
 THE SCIENCE LAB
Make & Do Activity Kit 
What is going on?
Salt is hygnoscopic
 This means it absorbs moisture from the environment around it.
Salt makes you thirsty 
 The same thing is happening in your mouth when  you eat salty foods. The salt will absorb your saliva and leave you feeling dry.
Snowflake patterns
When you sprinkle salt on a watercolour painting the water around each grain is drawn towards it and absorbed into it. The grain of salt sucks the water towards it and brings the pigment with it. The pigment collects around the grain and then dries. When you brush the salt off you will find a dark dot of pigment and a clear area around it.
Salt crystal watercolour art 
 
What else can I do?
 As well as Christmas cards we created bookmarks, gift tags and tree decorations.
9

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