I am blessed to live and work on the West Coast. I divide my time between Victoria and Jordan River on Vancouver Island and on Piers Island, just off Swartz Bay. I spend many hours in these beautiful West Coast settings beachcombing, gathering, drying, soaking and weaving the seaweed that has washed ashore. And what a wonderful material it is to work with! Bull kelp and brown laminaria are the two main species that I use. Plentiful in temperate waters, these fast growing and undervalued plants are a gift from the ocean. While alive and fresh the plants anchor to the seabed with their “holdfasts” attaching to rocks and other tidal floor features. Divers see their stunning beauty moving with the rhythms of the sea.I never disturb the growing plants. But at the end of the plant’s life, often brought on by storms, the seaweed detaches from the seabed. Left still on the beach or in tidal pools the crispy vegetable-like matter begins to decompose. Tumbled by the waves, dried by the sun and wind and pummelled against the rocks some of the plants will convert to a denser, durable material that I gather for weaving. Self-taught over several years’ of trial and error, I am inspired by the natural tangling and folding of seaweed as it washes ashore. I always grateful to and sobered by the sea, with its ever-changing conditions, including the occasional rogue wave! Most of the pieces are strong and durable as long as they stay dry. The inflated bull kelp pieces are more fragile and should be treated like paper. The large brown laminaria baskets are heavy due to the density of that plant. The works are left untreated (unless indicated) and if you ever get tired of the piece please just add to your compost, where it will eventually decompose and provide valuable minerals and nutrients to the soil! I am able to varnish with a water-based biodegradable product if requested. The varnish brings out the natural lustre of the material and adds strength to the product.