Monday, 18 March 2013

Salt Prints with a Vintage Twist

Last year I took part in a great, day long workshop at Bristol’s Folk House making salt prints. 
The Bristol Folk House is a charity run, adult education centre which run a variety of classes from Arts & Crafts to Fitness and Personal Development. It also has a really gorgeous café which makes amazing Spanish omelette and little dark chocolate, truffle bites- simple delectable!
The salt printing is a process for making “photographs” using common table salt and silver nitrate. The resulting prints have a lovely, old fashioned brown hue and a vintage quality.

The process was quite simple and as it was a sunny day we used sunlight to develop some of our prints but a dark room and the paraphernalia that goes with it is also essential. We also used UV bulbs and as I have a pet tortoise we have those at home so I had every intention of doing more at home but as is so often the case even with best intentions…

Here is a link to a website I found with great instructions on salt printing which includes a few examples:
For some time I have wondered what to do with the prints, I also had some box frames (bought in The Range) hanging round the house. I decided to grab my box of trinkets, some lace and the obligatory buttons and put it all together. Layering things up as I thought went with the prints. Some of the lace, whilst actually old, was still quite white so I “aged” it by soaking it in some hot water with a teabag. Some of the buttons had shanks so I removed them with a pair of mini wire cutters. I stuck everything together with either double sided, sticky tape or contact adhesive.
The frames were just plain, untreated pine. I stained one with a single coat of dark oak, wood stain. I painted the other larger one with regular emulsion in “Brandy Cream”. I then scribbled all over it with a dark brown, oil pastel, rubbed that all in with a piece of cloth then sanded it down with some fine sandpaper.
I’m quite pleased with how they turned out. I think if you fancied doing something similar you could always use a nice wrapping paper instead of salt prints- there are lovely vintage ones available!

Thanks for reading! Always Craft in Earnest !-)

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