Salt accounts for 3.5% of the world’s oceans and is produced when seawater evaporates. This process can be replicated by man, which is how most salt is now created. But larger salt crystals can be created through a crystallisation process. The process occurs in water with a high concentration of salt. These crystals then begin to form on an irregularity or surface. By utilising the crystallisation process of salt are we able to create a positive interaction with nature where we work with it to create products? The process can be replicated in different conditions, even within the home. But we can also make the products one with nature and try to make them part of an ecosystem with little interference, even with an added benefit.
Objects encased in crystals are pieces of art made by Sigalit Landau. The artist uses the hypersaline water of the Dead Sea to create these objects and take images. Each piece which will be placed in the water is chosen based on its interesting form, or textile, to see how the salt will react. These include; fishing nets, barbed wire, and personal belongings. She likes to think of her process as a way of breathing new life into inanimate objects. But her work is largely based on personal experiences, memories from her life and her family’s.
Landau exclaims, “Salt heals, preserves, hides, kills–this specific lake has myths and history all around its shores, stories of radicalism, Christianity, heroics, unbelievable agriculture—and it is a border as well, so the behaviour of salt and the natural environment is highly metaphoric, and keeps changing direction as I experiment.” The Dead Sea is found at the lowest point on earth, but its water levels have been rapidly depleting. The heat of the sun mixed with mineral harvesting and sinkholes has meant that this beautiful landscape is being lost. Through her work Sigalit Landau hopes to highlight this, and show people the beautiful area. For her 2016 work ‘Salt Bride’, Landau submerges a Jewish wedding dress in the sea. As the salt crystals grew it turned the black dress white.
Erez Nevi Pana
Israeli designer Erez Nevi Pana experiments with minerals to create furniture. His most famous work is created in sodium-heavy water within the Dead Sea, where salt crystals are abundant. Scraps of wood are constructed into stool forms before being placed into the water. He began trying to make eco-friendly stools by glueing the waste wood with a plant based glue, but found this wasn’t successful. It was then he decided to try the crystallising process to create a “skin” around the wood. This process is heavily abundant in the Dead Sea so when an object is placed in the water the crystals slowly begin forming around it, resulting in one piece once fully covered.
Pana experiments with the crystallisation process by using different materials as a frame. Aswell as using waste wood from furniture makers, he also uses natural materials. This includes objects found on the side of the road in the Israeli desert, such as branches, stones and leaves. These objects are combined together and left in the water for several months before emerging as one piece. He also adds other natural materials to act as a structure for the crystals to grow upon, such as loofah. Although these final forms may be more sculptural than intended for use, they create an interesting narrative around material extraction and how we can utilise non-invasive processes.
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