Salt Ice Embroidery

Creating embroidered works in ice has thrown up a number of interesting challenges. One such challenge has been finding ways in which I can control the melt time of the embroideries.

Using refrigerated units would obviously enable me to preserve the embroideries. However, there are subtler approaches to affecting the melt of the embroideries.

The example in the video above was created using salt water. Adding salt to the water changes the properties of the ice and causes it to melt more slowly. This piece was created using a 1% salt mix.

The effect is visible in the first few frames. If you compare this video with my previous ice embroidery clips you can see that the cubes are more square from the beginning. This is a result of the cubes not meting so quickly in my hands as I embroidered them.

On the downside however, adding salt to the water has caused the cubes to appear much more opaque due to the imperfections in the water.

I’m hoping that by boiling the water and using a slightly lower amount of salt I’ll be able to break down the salt further and create clearer cubes next time.