At first glance, the tangle of branching plant material in the photograph resembles deciduous tree twigs after they have lost their leaves in Autumn. In reality, the pressed plant material is seaweed, gathered from New Jersey beaches, washed, dried and pressed between layers of newspaper. These “branches” have many uses when I create pressed flower compositions.
The seaweed loses a good portion of its bulk when dried. The colors, brilliant greens through red, all darken to brown or black. The pliant fronds stiffen, and retain bits and pieces of salt and sand no matter how diligently I’ve soaked or rinsed them in water. Sometimes the salt and sand mix with other sea materials and form crystal-like granules on the seaweed. These crystals have an iridescent look and add a unique touch to the pressed flowercraft.