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THE SCIENCE LAB

Make & Do Activity Kit

Salt crystal watercolour art


Discover why salt naturally absorbs moisture. We use the snowake 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 Difculty: Hints: Non absorbent paper, dark coloured


inks and ne grained salt will make the best snowake effects.
draw a shape on your 1. Either paper or leave it blank to cut out shapes later. Mix up a dark coloured ink. Paint in large strokes over your page. sprinkle salt over 2. Quickly your paint. Try to scatter salt over all areas of your painted surface. Try to avoid piles of salt as individual grains work best.

What you will need:


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 ne grained salt

will notice that as 3. You the salt is soaked up towards the salt crystals it forms patterns similar to snowakes. different colours so 4. Paint that you have a variety to choose from. Dark colours will show the effect better. Try stripes of different colours or patterns. to dry fully then, 5. Allow using a piece of paper or your ngers, scrape off all the salt. This should reveal a snowaked pattern.. your patterned paper 6. Use to create cards and decorations. You will nd more ideas for your artwork on page 2 and templates you could use on page 3.

Note:
The success of this activity depends upon the paper not being too absorbent. If the paint soaks into the paper too quickly, the salt wont have time to absorb it and create the snowake effects. Darker paint colours work best as they will show this effect better. Fine grained salt crystals will absorb better than larger grains.

500 Harris St Ultimo Tel: 02 6217 0111 This work is licensed under the Creative POK346 Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 http://play.powerhousemuseum.com This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionPO Box Haymarket NSW 1238 Commons Attribution-NonCommercialAustralia Tel: 02 9217 0111 NonCommercial 3.0 Australia (CC BY-NC 3.0 AU) Australia ShareAlikeLicence 2.5 License.

500 Harris st. Ultimo

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THE SCIENCE LAB

Make & Do Activity Kit

Salt crystal watercolour art

Page 2

What else can I do? 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. Snowake 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 nd a dark dot of pigment and a clear area around it. As well as Christmas cards we created bookmarks, gift tags and tree decorations.

500 Harris St Ultimo PO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 Australia

Tel: 02 9 6217 0111 http://play.powerhousemuseum.com

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialShareAlike 2.5 License.

THE SCIENCE LAB

Make & Do Activity Kit

Page 3

500 Harris St Ultimo PO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 Australia

Tel: 02 9 6217 0111 http://play.powerhousemuseum.com

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialShareAlike 2.5 License.

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