Material Monday Excite: Salt Infused Patterns

Material Monday Excite: Salt Infused Patterns

Posted 16 July 2018 by Katie Kubrak

For the past several months we have been exploring materials, processes, finishes and industry trends that showcase opportunities for tactile exploration of surfaces. Being considerate of the fact that about 80% of creative output nowadays is two dimensional, upcoming features will focus on exploring the bridge between sense of sight and all of the other senses.

This Material Monday we present how surprising, and aesthetically oriented effects can be achieved through experimentation with banal ingredient we come across on daily basis in kitchen – salt. It is noteworthy to mention that this additive has other extraordinary talents, which can be applied across surfaces in an innovative manner. Llot Llov demonstrated a notable example of this.

Drawing inspiration from silk painting techniques, the studio was curious to learn whether resulting vision captivating patterns can be transcribed across other substrates including spruce wood and plywood. Examining salt’s special relationship to fluids, which in chemistry is referred to as osmosis, their team of creatives were able to bring to life some of the most unique and animated finishes.

In this process, the surface treatment begins with a monochrome or multi-colour glazing, which is subsequently sprinkled with salt crystals. These can vary in size, colour and dispersion. Results are further affected by the kind of salt used, humidity and length of reaction time.

Aforementioned design studio has released a collection that presents cluster, random and stripe visual arrangements. Cluster and random patterns are both based on big stone salt, while stripes utilise small stone salt crystals. Depending on the project spec, these can be dyed before being poured in piles onto the glazed substrate. Please note that due to its manual production process, each surface will be custom and one of a kind, therefore there is really no limit in terms of colours and patterns.

Creative experiments conducted by Llot Llov annotated several characteristic features of the process. These include:

  • big crystals tend to create big rims with strong contrasts
  • smaller crystals trigger more differentiated patterns with softer gradients
  • original texture of materials like spruce wood is emphasised as the salt draws the pigment into the natural flow of the grain

So far, Salt Infused Technique has been predominantly applied across interiors and furniture design (e.g. tables, front desks, separation elements, cabinets), but there is definitely a scope to incorporate this playful technique into POS, fashion accessories, eyewear, custom packaging, flamboyant invitations, catalogue hard covers and many more. In addition, it can be further explored across a range of porous substrates.

Value migration of salt infused patterns is yet another demonstration, which indicates the importance of CMF (colours, materials, finishes) design driven approach in creating a unique selling point for your brand, as well as, achieving an instantaneously recognisable brand feature.

If you are interested to find out about other exciting ways to experiment with materials or you would like to book one of our London Design Festival 2018 workshops, please feel free to get in touch.



Process Details:



Promotional Video of the Process by Llot Llov: