InSalting was an exercise in producing content for a website; written and photographic, and an exercise in salt making and being OK with being ridiculous. has been archived and the project has since ended.

Adventures in salt making with May Reid-Marr and Celia Armand Smith

Excerpt from InSalting mission #2


The demands of MFA student-ship dominated our lives through April and into May. We did, however, manage to squeeze in quite a bit of daydreaming about our salty lifestyle-to-be.

Fruitful brainstorming was had and some serious advancements in salt collecting technology were made.  

Hellooooo Salt Collecting Pants.

What is the ideal pant in which to collect seawater for salt? Is it, in fact, a transformo pant with a customized waterproof pocket? We imagined ourselves looking oh-so-pelvis-y in a pair of shockingly unflattering transformable pants. A sandwich bag could be duct taped to the upper leg for safe keeping of phone and keys. Lower pants legs could be awkwardly detached just before collection.  Perfect.  

Or….Could the pant collect the salt for us?! What about a pant with pockets everywhere? Each pocket would fill as we submerged ourselves in the ocean, then we could just stand in the bucket and wait for gravity to transfer the water out of the pants.

We prototyped both ideas for the latest trip. The results were spectacular.

This time we headed out to Nehalem State Park. This place is glorious. There was nobody else on the beach, the weather was beautiful and the Pacific was stunning and not that cold. Our smugness at being there was embarrassing.  

We brought a lot of snacks, two amazing lawn chairs we found on the street in Portland, one bamboo window blind to use as a beach mat and the pants.  

We tried salt collecting in both types of pant. Transformo pants, while predictably unflattering and awkward, were pretty great.  Reasonably comfortable and well suited for a wading mission into the sea.  

The pockets pants well...the pocket pants. Considering that we were prototyping, we decided to use as many different fabrics for pockets as possible. We were testing permeability. You want the water to go in quickly, and drain out slowly so as to allow you time to get from the sea to your buckets. A suspender-type contraption was necessary so as to prevent the sea pants-ing us.  The result of these practically driven design decisions was a scary clown pant. Also, they don’t really work to collect seawater. Except whatever soaks into the fabric of course. But, they are excellent at facilitating hilarity and also good props for some real weird performance art on the beach.

Some tweaks and refinements to our gear will be needed for the next mission.  Stay tuned for further iterations.  

Following our delightful afternoon at the beach, we headed over to the Tillamook factory to eat/drink a milkshake and watch the cheese get made.  

Bottom line….fun had, seawater collected. On with the salt.