Preparations with Salt

This weekend we drove over to Newport, Or to have a memorial at the beach for my mom. It turned out great and was wonderful to see everyone. I decided I would make something for her. I was challenged by what to make. I didn’t really want to make a painting that would end up so charged with emotion that I would have to figure out what to do with afterward. I thought about a sculpture, but laws about not erecting permanent monuments wherever you go being what they are…. Besides, my mom felt that art should be impermanent. She would often use chalk on cardboard.


Then I remembered someone in my art class mentioning carving yard art out of salt blocks. So, I got one (or three).

these things are heavy

I thought that I would just use my Dremel, but these things are really a lot harder than you would expect. So, I got to borrow a bunch of my husband’s tools. First I tried to cut it in half. We thought we would drill holes in it and then use a hammer and chisel to crack it along those holes.

It was taking entirely too long. I’m sure it would have eventually gotten done, but we looked for a better way. We ended up using a saws-all to cut it in half. Once it was cut the going was a little easier. But not a lot.

Lots of tools ūüôā

The salt got everywhere as it was chipped, chiseled, cut, whizzed, whirred, and ground off. I had one idea for the sculpture, but, as is often the way, the salt had other ideas. It decided that it was going to be a heart.

I gave the other pieces to the kid and he made one, too.

He had to go old school. Just like Michelangelo.

Later I let him use the Dremel. My mom gave me that, by the way.

I used it as well for the carving at the end. It’s great for smaller work like engraving words.

I liked this but it was really difficult to read. So I decided to dye it. My mom would have been very upset if I had used anything unnatural. I decided on food coloring.

and here is the one that the kid made.

So we loaded up the truck with mom’s ashes, the sculpture, us and our gear to head west toward the beach.


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