Friday, June 24th, 2011
I only added a few minimal details to the original tea wash on this piece. I took brown pen and gave the face I saw dark eyes, so it looks like a mysterious veiled creature curled possessively around the lighter space in the center. Then I gave it something to be possessive of — I used the same brown ink to make spirals for the salt crystals to rest on, and then went through the process to make salt pools.
I took some photos of the process so you can see it below.
Treasures, 7″x5″ mixed media on paper, $199, framed, with free shipping.
First we have the dried tea wash, ink, and carefully chosen crystals of salt. There’s a lot of size variation in the bottle of coarse sea salt I bought, so I make sure to choose appropriately for the effect I want. In this case, I went for small to medium crystals so the pools would stay discrete and relatively flat.
Second, I drop on the water with an eyedropper. The water washes the dust and scratches off the salt right away, leaving clear crystals that are hard to see, and the ink immediately starts to curl up into the water as well.
Here the salt and ink have dissolved as much as they’re going to, making a fluid made of brown ink, salt, whatever tea dissolves back in, and of course tap water.
And finally the water evaporates overnight, taking sometimes as much as a full day and leaving behind salt crystals imbued with the ink and tea. These crystals grow onto the paper, and so they’re quite well-attached. The tea gave the salt a very subtle bluish tint for some reason, though the brown ink really covers that up.
I found a lovely wood frame that matches wonderfully with the warm browns of the tea wash. Below you can see the final piece in its frame, with the mysterious figure looming protectively over the 7 sparkling piles of salt.