12 replies on “Bull Kelp at Salmon Creek Beach”

  1. Hi, I ran across your site researching kelp. It is really interesting what your doing.

    I too use bull kelp but in a different way. I collect the kelp that has washed up on the shores, and become dry hardened by the sun. I then paint them in an unusual way. (Hard to describe I can send you a pictures).

    The dried kelp is an amazingly strong material and takes paint beautifully. The tale end is like a strong rope. Which is, I’m assuming, the part you use for your chairs. The bulb part dries as hard a a gourd, my favorite part. Just started experimenting with it myself. I have gotten very favorable comments regarding the end product.

    I am looking to get more, and wondered if you had run across any sun dried kelp in your area? I got mine from a beach in Cambria, and will try that beach again, but could use other areas. Look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Found your article on Bull kelp, have you been sucessful in drying process ? Interested in your method , I would like to dry some.. Eric

  3. Looking for info on drying bull kelp and came upon your article.

    Wondering about your process for drying the kelp — you’d written about using it as a base for chairs. I would like to use it for baskets, but with the ultimate product more closely woven.

    I’m thinking it should be collected, dried and then briefly soaked again at weaving time. Should be less shrinkage.

    I wonder about the soaking moving the salt. Would that make the kelp more fragile? As well, would you finish the product with a coat of mineral oil, as I have read?

    Any suggestions you’re willing to share would be most appreciated.

  4. Hi Lois-
    I’ve found the kelp stays fairly flexible when dried slowly, not in direct sun. The weaving is best done while the kelp is still a bit ‘green’, pliant. Then the final drying happens when it has taken on a shape- a basket, whatever. I’ve had good luck treating it with mineral oil, as well as biodiesel fuel! Good luck!


  5. Scott,
    So of course what really caught my attention was your mention of biodeisel (not that the kelp part isn’t fascinating too); I’d like to hear more about that.
    Unfortunately the documentation of my home-brewing adventure got lost in a server reset, but it would still be fun to exchange notes.

    BTW I am an avid reader of your site.

    – Robb

  6. I am interested in what you are doing with Bullwhip Kelp. I am also experimenting with it as a art medium and have tied several turk’s head knots with it and also have made seaweed pickles from it.

  7. Hey Michael-

    Thanks for getting in touch. I would love to see what you’ve been doing with kelp! If you send me some images and text related, I will publish them on my weblog (with your permission).



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