Monday, August 04, 2014

Beach House Activity: Seaweed Pressing

Our second activity at the Pacific Grove beach house was seaweed pressing. Monterey Bay has GREAT seaweed. As you'll see in tomorrow's kayaking post, the kelp forests here are so thick that you can practically walk on the water. My niece Kiera helped me collect samples at the beach in the afternoon and we spread them out on the table after dinner.
Jean arranged each piece on a sheet of watercolor paper, using scissors to trim off extra pieces.
Small pieces and scraps shared a sheet of paper.
You're supposed to use heavyweight paper and gardener's mesh for the pressing, but I improvised with what I had on hand. I used lightweight watercolor paper and layered pieces of thin paper in between and pressed the results under a heavy pot of water. As a result, nothing really stuck to the watercolor paper and the bigger pieces of seaweed didn't dry properly. Oops, time to improvise!  When the seaweed had dried a few days later, I got out a set of blank notecards and my trusty can of spray mount to salvage the smaller pieces.
If you haven't already discovered spray mount, it is essentially aerosol rubber cement and the world's greatest art supply after hot glue. I've had the same can since studying graphic design in college.
Just a quick spray of glue on the back of the small pieces and they became notecards. I'm going to use these to send thank you notes to the family for all their help planning the beach house weekend. Should be a great souvenir of our trip.
I made two larger pieces on watercolor paper for Jean, who did all the hard work of finding our beach houses and coordinating everyone's schedules.
This card on is my favorite and I think I'll frame it for my desk.

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