The Process

The most interesting part is collecting.
The best fragmented seaweeds only come ashore after turbulent and stormy conditions at sea.

After the weather has settled, I spend hours, over several days searching for good specimens. Nothing compares to the pleasure of being on a deserted beach, wading through clear Cornish waters

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Next comes the sorting - in shallow photographic trays, selecting the finest pieces. It takes many hours to float and arrange each of the specimens onto an acid free mounting card.

Then comes the pressing; using traditional time-honoured methods, with careful monitoring and several, frequent changes of inter-leaved blotting paper.

Once the pressing process is complete, some are then discarded and only the best retained.

Because the pressed specimens would quickly fade if exposed to light, we take each selected specimen to be photographed at a specialist studio. Examples of the actual pressed seaweeds are available in a separate booklet.

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From the proofs, we may then narrow down more, before finally printing onto archival paper. One of our papers, called "Elegance Velvet", an all cotton, archival, 310 grammes/metre paper, comes with a 100 year archival certification! (i)

We then die cut every image, by hand, and, again, by hand, arrange each image within the frame space. Each image is specially mounted to raise it a few millimetres from the background, so that they appear to float within the box frame. With the larger frames having 16 individual images, this stage requires precision work and concentration.

We use a specialist acid free conservation adhesive; "Evacon R", to secure each floating image, and an archival, ph neutral conservation tape for sealing each frame. (ii)

The wooden frames are all painted by hand, inside and out, with background colours complementing the different arrangements.

To enhance each display, we use specialist glazing; Tru Vue “ULTRA VUE" glass. (iii) This gives superb clarity and less than 1% light reflection. It also blocks 65% of harmful ultraviolet rays. Ultra-violet rays are present in both natural and electric light, can cause rapid fading of colours, and, can permanently damage precious artwork.

By special order, we can use Tru Vue "MUSEUM GLASS". This is very expensive, but it blocks 99% of harmful UV rays and is virtually invisible. It is the ultimate in protective display.

footnotes

(i) "Breathing Colour UK" : www.breathingcoloruk.com (note USA spelling of color in www... )
(ii) "Conservation by Design" : www.cxdltd.com
(iii) "Tru Vue" Glazing : www.tru-vue.com