I love to show people my process and methods! I am available to lead workshops on seaweed pressing, eco pressing and collaging, to groups both large and small. They can include meeting at a coastal location to gather materials and then returning to the studio to create the work or a variation of this process. Please contact me for availability and scheduling. You can see my work at D. Chatowsky Gallery on Spring Street in Newport and Block Island, RI or Jeff Soderbergh Gallery in Wellfleet, MA. Saltwater Studio is also open by appointment. Please call to schedule a visit: 617-824-0522.
I have worked with the following organizations to lead workshops:
Seaweed pressing was a popular art form during the Victorian era when people summered on the coast. Seaweed was admired for its beauty and pressed into scrapbooks with other mementos like poetry, watercolors & anything that was a happy reminder of their experience. After seeing some of these scrapbooks I was compelled to explore this process and use seaweed as a medium in my work.
The process: After wading in the intertidal zone and collecting specimens, I load buckets of seaweed and containers of clean, salt water in my car and head back to the studio. In my work area I set up 5 – 7 trays to study the different species and speculate on collage combinations. Other materials are rag paper, blotter paper, towels, nylon cloth, cardboard and weights. Small tools, such as tweezers, scissors, toothpicks, soft bristle brushes, glue and razor blades are also used as needed.
Once the seaweed is positioned on the paper as desired, and the excess water removed, it is ready for pressing. The collage is transferred to fresh blotter paper with the nylon cloth placed on top to prevent sticking, then sandwiched into cardboard. The package is placed onto a flat surface and weighted down. The element of surprise is also a factor in this process and you won’t know what the end result will be until it is completely dry. The drying time is usually a couple of days to a week.