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Salt Glass

A while ago, and it seems as though ‘a while’ might be two years, when Dasniya and I were in Brussels for Parsifal, I left a glass in the kitchen. We’d had a salt shortage, of the ground, easily used kind, and the only salt in the kitchen was a box of pink Himalayan rock salt, the rock referring both to where it came from, and its hardness; bashing with a hammer was more likely to cause shrapnel damage.

So I hit upon the idea of dissolving it in water and using the brine for cooking. I’d left a couple of stone-sized chunks in a small glass of water, and we’d departed. When we returned, the water had evapourated and the salt, the salt had crept up the inside of the glass, over the rim, down the outside and surrounded it like a ball gown, a mass of fine crystalline salt with a sharp, crenellated fringe at the leading edge.

The glass remained so for a long while before becoming dusty; the crystals no longer bright and pristine. I decided to try it again while Dasniya was in Thailand. Of course, more salt and more water, and it took barely two days before the first clouding appeared, driving the meniscus higher. I left it on the windowsill, which after two weeks had thoroughly dried out, and in bursts of nighttime activity spread over a hand-sized area.

I think it is somehow art. Or it could be, done in the right glassware and on the right surface. Maybe even lab glassware, all pipes and tubes and beakers, and lit so it glows this cold white and faint salmon pink.