Friday, August 31, 2012

Technique Tutorial - Salt Inking

I read a message on one of the forums I follow or it might have been facebook and someone asked how to do salt inking. As I'd never heard of it myself, I did some googling and browsing and came across some instructions and images so decided to give it a bit of a go.
The techniques are really easy unless you are impatient like me. If you are impatient, this may not be the technique for you. You can't speed it up, cos it just doesn't work. You do need to leave these overnight (or sometimes longer) to dry naturally. Of course drying time may differ Winter compared to Summer or if you are really desperate and want to rack up a power bill leaving the dehumidifier running all night long.
  • In a nutshell... colour your tag or project with your choice of colourant - more on this later. (I would suggest a cardstock rather than light weight patterned paper).
  • Spritz with a little (or a lot) of extra water.
  • Sprinkle wet cardstock with choice of salt - I tried natural sea salt and table salt
  • Leave to dry (this feels like forever!!!)
  • Gently brush off salt when colourant is dry
  • Admire the end result
Although I called the tutorial Salt "Inking" it is possible to do this technique with a number of different colourants.
  • Inks - distress ink is ideal as you can spritz this with water to blend as much as you like
  • Water colour paint
  • Colour wash/mists
Salt Type:
Depending upon which type of salt you use, the end result will differ. I used both table salt (non-iodised but not sure if this would make a difference) and natural sea salt, though many of the tutorials recommended Kosher salt. I didn't use this as I could find it in our local supermarket.
Table salt - the end result was finer more detailed, so more subtle than the effect created by the sea salt.
Sea salt - created a bigger, bolder effect
Both worked well on all colours tested, though some results were better than others. 
For each picture below table salt on left and rock salt on right.
Adirondack colour wash Stream and Lettuce. 
I was a little impatient with the rock sale version on the right - you can see I smudged the colouring when I brushed the salt off. Note to self - be more patient!!!
I really like the way the table salt version shows almost a natural crystal formation... kind of looks like I'm performing a science experiment and successfully trying to grow bacteria in agar LOL.
Distress Inks - Mustard Seed, Crushed Olive and Faded Jeans.
I was surprised at the effect of the salt particularly on the Mustard Seed (yellow). Around where the salt crystals sat the colouring became quite a bit darker than the colour of the ink. I love the effect on the blue (Faded Jeans) on the rock salt version (right).
Distress Inks - Walnut Stain and Fired Brick.
I was a little disappointed in what happened with the table salt as the effect really isn't all that clear however I love the intensity of the rock salt version. I can see this looking really cool if you were trying to DIY an animal print look. May have to try that soon... hmmmmm.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Cool effects, might have to give this a go myself!