Art Connections: Crystal Paint (page 2)
In this activity, you'll see a beautiful design that's left behind when an Epsom salts solution evaporates. You'll be using the solution to paint on paper. The design you see will be made of tiny crystals.
1. Get Ready
Sheet of black construction paper Sheet of white construction paper Hand lens (magnifying glass) Pencil Scissors Paintbrush Cellophane tape Tablespoon Warm water Epsom salts Paper cup
2. Do and Wonder
Cut a circle from the white paper that's 6 inches (about 15 centimeters) across. Fold the circle in half, and then fold the half in thirds. The shape of the folded paper should look like a wedge of pie. Now fold the wedge in half the long way, and cut a pattern into the fold. If the paper is too thick to cut easily, unfold it once and cut the pattern into the previous fold. Open the white paper to reveal the design. Flatten out the paper, and tape it to the black paper. Next prepare your "paint": Mix 3 tablespoons of Epsom salts into about 1/3 cup of warm water. Use the Epsom salts mixture to paint over the design in the white paper, covering the openings where the black paper shows through. Put the papers in a warm place. When the black paper is dry, paint over the design again. After the black paper has dried again, carefully remove the white paper from it. Then use the hand lens (magnifying glass) to carefully observe the black paper.
3. Think and Write
In a few sentences, describe what you observed in this activity. Did you see crystals on the black paper? If so, describe their size and shape. Suggest some other "paint" solutions you might make using cooking ingredients and what types of designs they might produce.
The "paint" you made was really a solution of Epsom salts in water. As it dried, the water molecules left the surface of the black paper and entered the air. The crystals you may have observed were formed by molecules of Epsom salts that were left behind on the paper.
© ______ 2000, Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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