Another round of experiments with stitched seaweed, ending largely in failure. Not to worry; failure is often a crucial step in the creative process, and as I've learned so far with a range of seaweed experiments, this material has a steep learning curve. (See Seaweed for past creations.)
|Bowl of seaweed|
This round of experiments began with an assortment of seaweed collected in early August along the tide line just north of Point Lobos in California. The vision was that of a seaweed chandelier, comprised of an assortment of small seaweed lamps, clustered together and illuminated from within by Christmas lights.
|Seaweed lamps, drying on paper cup molds|
The lamps above are stitched at the top and then encircled with thread to help them retain their shape while they dried. At this stage they look spectacular, but as they dried I learned a couple of valuable lessons. I expected vertical shrinkage, figuring on lamps about a half to a third of the beginning height. What I failed to account for was horizontal shrinkage, resulting in the lovely overlapping layers separating into individual strands with gaps in between. This whole concept needs a major conceptual overhaul, but I plan to revisit this idea. I have such a clear image of the final seaweed chandelier in my head.
To console myself I stitched the diminutive seaweed shoe shown here. Based on the gorgeous variety of seaweeds to be found in Carmel and Monterey, one could conceivably design an entire lie of seaweed shoes, to be left on the shore back on the tide line for unwary beachcombers to find.