Salt Dough Runes

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Xiao Rong
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Salt Dough Runes

Post by Xiao Rong »

Hi everyone, recently I was in a workshop about the Elder Futhark runes, which inspired me to try my hand at making some runes. As someone who loves to cook and feels much more comfortable working with flour rather than baking clay, I made them out of salt dough and painted them with acrylic.

This is how I did it:

Salt Dough Recipe*:

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1.5 cups warm water

Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon, gradually adding water until it forms a big sticky mess. Finish mixing with your hands.

Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface, and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is soft, pliable, and smooth.

Roll it out until it is 1/8" thick; cut out the desired shapes. In my case, I used the lid of a candle jar (I don't have a cookie cutter ... lol) to cut out discs that were 1 inch in diameter.

Etch the runes using a toothpick or other such instrument. (You should do this part as soon as you can; if you let it dry it even a little bit, your etchings will start cracking the top of the dough and mess up what you are trying to carve)

Bake in an oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until it is hard; for me, this was about 2 hours.

Paint as desired. I used black acrylic paint for the discs and silver metallic paint for the runes.



This is the final result:

Image

Hope you guys find this useful!


* this quantity of salt dough will make you a helluva lot of runes; when I rolled it all out and cut them into 1-inch circles, it made about 80 pieces. I made 24 Elder Futhark runes, and 41 runes from Shekhinah Mountainwater's Womanrunes system, but because the Womanrunes use some more involved pictographs, they didn't turn out well, and all I was left with was the Elder Futhark runes. So anyways, if I were just making the Elder Futhark runes, half of the original recipe would be plenty, with leftover scraps if you wanted to make other ornaments and such.
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~

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firebirdflys
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Re: Salt Dough Runes

Post by firebirdflys »

Xiao, thanks for posting this! I remember when my Mom used to make this clay for me to play with. I don't remember her baking it though, seems like we just dried it out. Does it become brittle when baked? I'm very intrigued...I love clay, and ceramics was my main mode of art for a long time. You have inspired me to try this one again!!
FF
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Xiao Rong
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Re: Salt Dough Runes

Post by Xiao Rong »

Hi Firebird! It did dry out fairly quickly, so I'm sure it could have air-dried, but I wanted to bake it in the interest of time. It does become more brittle when baked, but I think it would have become brittle anyways (even when I waited like an hour to etch runes there was a marked difference) Let me know how it goes! I'd love to see how yours turns out : )
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~

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Jade Rose
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Re: Salt Dough Runes

Post by Jade Rose »

I was just wondering while reading the ingredients list, would it be a good idea to add some essential oils or mage crushed herbs to the mix so that it's integrated and we also benefit from them?
Let's say, for instance, thyme for mental powers or any other herb for that matter.

Would it ruin the dough and not enable it to harden easily? :/

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Xiao Rong
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Re: Salt Dough Runes

Post by Xiao Rong »

That's a really good question, Jade Rose. I've never worked with essential oils before, but I doubt a few drops for scent would make a huge difference. And I think (dried) herbs would work just fine. But I could be wrong, and if you do experiment with it, please let me know what you find!!
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~

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Re: Salt Dough Runes

Post by miachrhys »

I've seen a similar recipe used for offering stones. There are a couple videos on youtube about it anyone is interested. I've attempted them myself but they never seem to turn out quite right...perhaps I'm using too much water or not letting it cook out enough. It just extends the drying time and makes the dough sticky. I've been wanting to make an altar pentacle in a similar way so I will have to think upon it further.

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Jade Rose
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Re: Salt Dough Runes

Post by Jade Rose »

Xiao Rong wrote:That's a really good question, Jade Rose. I've never worked with essential oils before, but I doubt a few drops for scent would make a huge difference. And I think (dried) herbs would work just fine. But I could be wrong, and if you do experiment with it, please let me know what you find!!
Sure, I will let you know what happens when/if I get the chance to make them.

Haha, my mom is already freaking out every time I do a house cleansing ritual, I wonder what she'll be thinking if she sees me inscribing runes. xD

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SpiritTalker
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Re: Salt Dough Runes

Post by SpiritTalker »

Bump

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