Last Saturday 18th August, Dr Alice Hall led an Alga Pressing workshop for Society members at Quarr Abbey. Alice collected specimens during the morning from Bembridge Ledges – known for its diversity of marine life. The specimens were then sorted ready for the afternoon’s workshop.
To open the afternoon, Alice gave a presentation on the basics of Alga classification (Phycology) where we learned that there are just 3 categories of Alga – Red, Green and Brown, but within these groups are 1000’s of species. Alice also gave us an introduction of the history of Alga collecting and pressing. The Island has long been regarded as an area of phycological interest, with records of seaweeds dating back to 1777 and a tradition of pressing seaweed both for a scientific and artist value.
The group then went on to experiment with arranging and placing various specimens on paper using the methods that Alice described. These were then carefully transferred to the bespoke seaweed presses that Alice provided and layered ready for pressing.
The group also carried out some direct seaweed transfers – a quicker method of producing a pressed specimen, used scopes to look at a cell composition of Algae samples and also enjoyed a stunning, historic Seaweed Album loaned by kind permission of Ventnor Botanic Gardens.
Click here for a link to Alice’s Alga Algae Pressing