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  1. Tutorial: Silk Painting Techniques with Salt

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    The salt effect never ceases to amaze my students when we try it on one of my silk painting courses!

    It's quite a simple technique but makes a fantastic effect and can be used in many ways. It's not always reproducible or easy to determine exactly how it will come out, which is part of its charm.

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    Salt you can use:

    You can use any salt! I have tried the following:

    • Official branded "effect salt". This is great, but is just salt!
    • Table salt (chip salt). This is great for small areas and fine grained patterns
    • Rock salt (bigger chunks). This is great for more dramatic patterns and larger areas
    • Himalayan pink salt (huge). This can be used for a focal point, or can be grated for a more fine grained pattern
    • Dishwasher salt (balls). I don't recommend this because they roll everywhere!
    • Maldon sea salt crystals (flat squares). This is interesting to look at, but the price isn't really worth it as it doesn't do anything particularly special and I don't think it gives a very even effect.

    You can also use salt solution, but I'll talk about that in another post!

    Tips to get a good effect:

    • To get a good reaction, make sure your salt is nice and dry. I have been known to pop my salt container on the radiator in winter!
    • Don't use too much water, as the salt pulls lots of the dye particles out of the silk and deposits them under the grains so you can end up with a really wishywashy effect.
    • Wait till your salt is fully dry before brushing off, or you can smudge the pattern.
    • You can re-use your larger salt crystals on other projects, but be aware that some of the colour may remain and can stain future projects.

    I find that salt gives more dramatic effects with ironfix paints than with steamfix dyes.

    Projects you could try with salt:

    • Seaside scenes
    • Patterns on brickwork
    • Fur or feather shading
    • Flower centres
    • Trees and landscapes to add texture
    • Funky backgrounds

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    Have fun, and please do check out my silk painting courses!

    Jane :)

     

    Have you done silk painting and used salt? Post your pictures and comments here - I'd love to see them!

    You can also join the Guild of Silk Painters at www.silkpainters-guild.co.uk, or join their Facebook Group here.

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