salt sculptures

This odd-looking tree in the middle of the vast Utah salt desert is called Metaphor: Tree of Utah. Seeming out of place in a wide stretch of the Bonneville Salt Flats, it’s actually a 90-foot-tall concrete sculpture built in 1986 by Swedish artist Karl Momen. He wanted to bring a little bit of greenery to a rather treeless stretch of land. 

The chain-link fence encircling the sculpture is to keep visitors from being hit by falling tiles. 


Cone 6 Salt Fired Stoneware

I don’t do much sculpture anymore because I usually have a list of commissions to get done that take up all my time. This was actually sculpted in 2010 but I never got around to glazing it, until now! When I originally sculpted it I had access to a glaze that, when combined with this clay body, came out perfect banana slug olive yellow, but our studio ditched it right after this came out of the bisque because it contained cadmium. Augh! So it’s just been sitting on my shelf.

But this term I decided to put it in the salt kiln, and I can’t be more happy with how it came out! It was not glazed prior to being fired; that lovely brown orange peel texture is all salt that vaporized in the kiln’s high temperature and reacted with the silica in the clay to form a glaze.

This slug now lives in one of my bioactive planted vivariums.

Here is a video I’ve made of an “urban salt firing”. It’s a gutted electric kiln retrofitted for gas firing, fed with brine-soaked wood and bamboo “bombs” stuffed full of salt! Here are a few posts I made on Instagram of the firing that included my slug sculpture: one, two, three!

In fall we’re building a large soda kiln. I can’t wait. I’ve only done salt fire before so soda will be new to me!

Earth Witchcraft: Tools & Associations

**Tools: Acorns/Acorn Caps, Animal Bones, Animal Skulls, Antlers, Axe, Bark, Baskets, Branches and Sticks, Bricks, Chains, Chords, Clay, Claws (animal), Club/Bat, Coins/Currency, Dried Plants/Flowers, Drums, Earthenware, Flower Pots, Fur, Gardening Tools and Supplies, Gourds (dried), Gloves (work/leather/gardening), Hammer, Hands and Feet/the Body, Hedge Clippers/Gardening Sheers, Horns (animal), Leather, Metallic Objects and Jewelry, Mud/Facial Mud, Mushrooms & Fungi, Nails/Stakes, Nuts and Nut Shells, Pentacles, Pickaxe, Potted Plants, Pottery, Pottery Tools, Rake, Rocks and Stones, Salt, Salt Lights, Sand, Scale, Sculptures, Sculpting Tools, Seeds, Shield, Shovel, Soil/Dirt, Spade, Staff, Stomping and Marching, Straw and Hay, Teeth, Twine, Weights, Wires (metal), Wood, Wood Carvings, Wood Chips, Wooden Objects, Wooden Utensils, and Yarn

**be sure that any animal parts you are using were legally obtained! Check your local laws! Do not use human body parts, bones or teeth due to the human remains laws unless you have proper documentation and proof you legally got them!

Colors: Brown, Beige, Greens, Black, earthy colors

Corresponds to: Stability, prosperity, food, feasts, money, wealth, crops, animals, home, mountains, family, fertility, strength, grounding, protection, nature, death and rebirth

Crystals: All stones and crystals relate to earth some specific ones- onyx, jade, halite, amethyst, fluorite, amazonite, emerald, hematite, jet, lodestone, malachite, peridot, serpentine, turquoise, desert rose, sandstone, geode

Metals: Lead (toxic be careful), Iron, Silver

*Plants & Trees: All plants and trees are associated to earth on some level, those more strongly attuned are - Ash, Dwarf Elm, Hawthorn, Patchouli, Vetiver, Wheat, Oats, Rice, Cypress, Ivy, Poppy, Thrift Plant, Mushrooms, Potato, Narcissus, Oak moss, Fern, Honeysuckle, Primrose, Horehound, Rhubarb, Magnolia, Mugwort, Vervain, Turnips, Onions, Carrots, Nuts (general), Roots (general), Seeds. 

*research plants, herbs and trees before burning, ingesting or using on skin for some are toxic and even lethal

Animals: All 4-legged animals; Cow/Bull/Ox, Bison, Snake, Dog, Donkey, Mule, Bear, Coyote, Wolf, Deer/Stag, Elk, Owl, and Cats

Elementals and Beasts/Creatures: Giant, Gargoyle, Leprechaun, Troll, Sphinx, Gnomes, Dwarf, Faun, Goblin, Satyr, Dryad, Sylvestres and Brownies

Sense: Touch

Body: Teeth, Bones, Hands, Feet, Spine/Back, Reproduction Organs

Earth Related Magick: Animal, Ancestral, Cottage, Crystal, Death/Funerary, Green, Kitchen, Knot/Weaving, Family, Prosperity, Sculpting and Carving, Fertility, Protection, Defensive, Strength, Grounding, Money/Gain

Witch Tip:

Making a small sculpture from salt dough or flour and water representing someone or something you want away from you then sending it downstream is a very easy and effective way to do a banishing. The pseudo poppet will erode in the water but shouldn’t harm any of the wildlife living in your chosen stream.

Meanwhile you wear out after two seconds of Snapchat scribbling.

6 WTF Works of Art That Required an Insane Amount of Work

#6. Salt Sculptures Built to Be Demolished

[In Motoi Yamamoto’s salt sculptures,] the salt is not held immobile in any way. Yamamoto makes his creations completely out of loose granules he pours out through a squeeze bottle. … If he sneezed, he’d instantly erase a month of work. … We can’t imagine putting half the amount of effort into raising a child, much less a tiny salt maze that will be utterly destroyed after only a few weeks. Yamamoto doesn’t just invite the audience to completely annihilate his artwork – he insists that they tromp through his delicate lines like a bunch of well-seasoned Godzillas.

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