Last week I utterly and completely failed to create a seaweed basket. Walking on the beach on our last day on Orcas Island, I saw a dotted white seaweed so transparent I thought it was a piece of a jelly fish. Then I saw a similar swiss dot red seaweed and several varieties of green and yellow sea weed. One type had a firm ribbon of a stem with few leaves and its roots were embedded in a small rock. Thinking that this would make a great souvenir of our vacation, I gathered a few feet of very stinky seaweed and brought it back to the cabin. After I rinsed it in the kitchen sink I wiped the pieces down with a paper towel and laid them outside to dry. In the time it look me to search online for “coiled seaweed baskets” some parts of the seaweed dried so quickly that they looked like the crispy seaweed treats in the grocery store. The 4×25 inch yellow strip that I intended as the core had turned bright green.
Using the rock as the center of the piece I intended to coil the firm leathery ribbon around the green leaf, but they had their own thoughts on the subject and the green leaf soon covered the ribbon for the first 2 rows. Working without a needle or an awl it was hard to bind the rows together and still keep the piece intact. Rows slipped down on each other and if I tightened a piece, it usually broke. I added in the curly red pieces that now looked like red leaf lettuce. Then I gave up. Functionally and aesthetically it just doesn’t work. I packed away my memento and when I’m home I’ll decide if it can be salvaged.