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 and anything that was a happy reminder of their experience. The process of pressing seaweed is a combination of art and science and drives home the point that they are inextricably linked.
We will be working at tables set up with seaweed filled trays to study the different species and speculate on collage combinations. The materials we use include cotton rag paper, blotter paper, towels, nylon cloth and cardboard. Small tools, such as tweezers, scissors, toothpicks and soft bristle brushes 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 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 and you will leave with your pressing to continue the process at home.
You will be making 2 pressings of seaweed that can be framed and hung in your home once the drying process is complete.