Monday, May 2, 2011

Science, Milk, and Fireworks!




After seeing a great link to a science experiment post about making fireworks with milk, dish soap, and food coloring, I wondered if the results might yield a print. Boy did it!

You can find the original instructions for the experiment here...

After following all the steps here I placed the paper on top of our mixture we had prepared in a shallow cookie pan. What resulted was very pretty, but not exactly vibrant as you can see...

In pursuit of capturing the bright firework colors permanently, we decided to try placing the paper in the pan first and then adding the milk, food coloring and finally the dish soap. 
This process produced significantly richer colors.


We allowed them to stay in the milk mixture for about 10 minutes after we were done adding colors and soap and laid them to dry on paper towels. The paper was quite curled by the time it was dry so I mounted them on shiny black cardstock to simulate a night time sky.

This was a fun way to combine science and art with my boys and I plan to try it out soon with my art students as well.

Next time I think I will experiment with liquid watercolor paint and perhaps tempera as well and see what happens!

As a science extension to this activity you might try finding out what causes this reaction. Is it a physical or chemical reaction that occurs.
Steve Spangler has a great explanation of 
the science behind the fun here.

Or for more soapy fun, check out this link.

As an art extension, take a look at the prints and see if there are any hidden pictures in there waiting to be more defined. Might there be an alien hiding in those fireworks or maybe a friendly hoot owl, or even a roaring lion. Just think ink blot and see where your imagination will take you.

7 comments:

Shannon Maynard said...

Very Beautiful!!! mrs.maynardsartroom.

Katie Morris said...

I was so excited when I saw your print, I knew what it was right away! I saw this on Lamb Chop, I think, and it became my 4th grade science demonstration at school! I had tried to remember what I added into the milk to make it work and couldn't. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I love this type of stuff. I was wondering if the paper starts to smell after a while because of the milk?

The Art Fairy said...

I wondered the same thing when we did these. I can't find these prints at the moment. I know I haven't tossed them yet, so hopefully since I can't smell them, it's a good sign that they'll keep well. There is always the digital option though if they do stink after a while. Great thing about photos, they are never messy and they are odorless!

Fine Lines said...

What a great idea -- I'm off to the kitchen to give it a try!! Thanks!

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Change One said...

Milk has been used as a base for paint pretty much forever. (The earliest cave paintings, for instance.) Actual milk paint is already curdled when you use it, so it's pretty smelly until it dries. Once dry though, it shouldn't smell. I'm not sure that the same would apply to this paint technique, but the milk should be ok.