Monday, November 10, 2014

Stitching Seaweed: A Luminaria

Seaweed luminaria (votive candle holder)

My early experiments with stitching seaweed began over a year ago (see Seaweed Experiment: Stitching Seaweed) and addressed a very basic question: Can you stitch seaweed? Continuing the process has depended on securing seaweed from the beaches of Monterey Bay, which has required learning about seaweed season, tides, and transport and storage issues. This round of experiments involved a steep learning curve; some things worked, some things didn't. This post offers a look at the first of two seaweed creations I'd like to share.

View from above


With votive inside

Working Wet

A final photo below shows the piece in progress. While stitching wet seaweed is slippery and challenging, the drying process is even more challenging. As it dries seaweed shrinks and has a mind of its own regarding what form it would like to shrink into. As a result, the drying process requires constant vigilance and ongoing tweaking.

Working wet

What I need is a shack by a seaweed-rich bay for a month so I could do these experiments uninterrupted and continue the learning process. The experiments that didn't work during this round taught me more than those that did, and I'm itching to get my hands on more raw materials.

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