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Thursday, 18 December 2008

A Festive Ship

Recently, I was lucky enough to be present when the Lion Saltworks acquired a ‘salt ship’ for their collection. These are quite rare objects. At Christmas time and other festive occasions, the saltworkers would make wooden objects like ships, dip them in the concentrated brine in the saltworks, and put them to dry in the warm stove rooms (where lump salt was dried out.) As the brine evaporated out, a beautiful coating of salt crystals appeared, as on the ship (see image, left.) Sometimes the workers would dip tree boughs in the brine and dry them out to make Christmas decorations for their houses. A pretty effect, isn't it?
Image © Sue Wilkes.


Scriptor Senex said...

There was a huge VR done in sulphur crystals on 'Flog it' recently - created for Queen Victoria's golden jubilee. They are so impressive these things that one wonders why it isn't a more popular craft. I'm sure one could do it at home given a few years and a lot of patience!

Sue Wilkes said...

I saw some spar boxes at Killhope Lead Mining Museum a few weeks ago - they were very beautiful.