I was collecting seaweed on my favorite beach on the Magdalen Islands (îles de la Madeleine, in the Gulf of St-Lawrence), when a tourist asked : “What are you picking up? Most people will gather shells, pretty stones, but seaweed…?” I could have answered something witty about sushis, but instead, too absorbed in my papermaking project, I talked about paper pulp, to which you can add seaweed, ultimately making books, etc. For me, it is magic.

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Gathering seaweed…

…in the beautiful scenery… …of the Magdalen Islands

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As I do not know them all under their scientific Latin names. Seaweed, for me, are still called : sea lettuce, sea grapes, sea parsley

Washed and sorted, the seaweed will next be dropped into the vat of paper pulp

Forming a sheet

Draining water off the frame
Nothing matches the islands’ wind to dry handmade paper

My favourite clothes line is… a paper line!
Sea lettuce embedded in abacca and cotton pulp

Neatly stacked handmade paper sheets waiting for the next step, such as becoming a book, an engraving, a letter…
… or embossed on old keys

© copyright Denis Larocque, photographer & webmaster