I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Ya, this bouquet is great and everything, but it’s missing something. I dunno, something slimy, something…. that smells of the bonny brine of th’ foamy tide.” (Oh, you think in pirate-speak, too?)
Yes! Well we think so too. And so did the creative thinkers over at Seattle Bride Magazine when they asked Lola Event Floral & Design to contribute to their ocean themed feature for the upcoming issue that will hit stands this week.
Sliminess and smell aside, seaweed is alluring because first, the sliminess and smelliness means probably no one else will be working with it and second because the translucency and watery quality epitomizes the ocean and our Puget Sound region. Third, the texture is so unique.
Check out the lovely translucency in this gorgeous image from this winter’s Northwest coast inspired post.
Well, we thought we’d share with you what we learned while working with this ocean grower.
First some rules. Seaweed is habitat for a variety of species with erosion control properties that are so important for coastlines. Just as we don’t rip plants out of forests to play with, we don’t rip seaweed from rocks. Luckily, there are plenty of pretties just layin’ about awaitin’ to be haaaaarrrvested. (back pirate, back… sigh). There are also some restrictions on which beaches you can harvest from. For more info, peruse the fish and wildlife page on shellfish and seaweed harvesting.
We harvested a bunch of different varieties but were most successful with the little curly red/ purple seaweed and these large green leaves.
We started by rinsing our seaweed in cold water (warm water makes them super gooey) and setting them out on some wax paper. We wanted them to be sealed so that they would maintain shape as they dried and preserve the coloring. We wanted a clear and flexible coat. For this we tried Golden’s Self-Leveling Gel and High Solid Gel to test the best product.
The Self-Leveling Gel is above and the High Solid Gel below. These are found in the acrylic paint section of your art store. They were both applied with a soft brush (big, floppy, cloud soft) so it wouldn’t pull the delicate plant. Both mediums produced a clear seal, though we went with the self-leveling gel because it produced a thicker coat that added heft to the delicate leaf so we could really play with it. We did find that the coloring changed drastically during this process. We have not tested whether this is due to a reaction with the sealant, or exposure to the sun. It’s worth giving Mod Podge a shot to test it’s colorfastness and to save some money.
After carefully flipping the pieces, we coated the other side, let dry completely and curled it into these unusual tufts cascading out of the arrangement below.
The arrangement is placed in a recycled glass vessel with plant roots (a nod to the eroding land into the sea) and plants with shapes that mimic sea life. We also sealed mussels shells we found after a sea bird feast. The interiors are a lovely opalescent blue that really glow with a little gloss.
Enjoy! Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the new magazine! Let us know what you think.
That’s a nice bouquet, bow lady. Needs some seaweed.