Megan Singleton: Seaweed paper

Megan Singleton is a practicing artist and educator based in St. Louis, Missouri.  She is adjunct faculty at Webster University where she teaches Papermaking and Studio Art courses and has worked as a digital artist for Bruton Stroube Studios since 2005.

Her installations crisscross the boundaries of contemporary craft, combining sculpture, hand papermaking, and digital applications.  Her work explores the intersection of dendritic systems and patterns found in waterways, plants and paths of travel.  She  exhibits nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions.

Her website artist statement states, in part: My creative practice intertwines sculpture, handmade paper, found objects, printmaking, photography, and book arts.  Her entire statement can be read here.

codium-fragileIn 2013 Megan wrote a guest post on the site PAPERSLURRY entitled Papermaking with Atlantic BioInvader Codium Fragile.

Searching the internet regarding Codium Fragile brought up a Canadian site which states that this alga originated in Japan and lives in subtidal areas as well as tidal pools, to a depth of around 18 metres.  Photos clearly show it blanketing huge underwater areas as it holds fast to most surfaces including rocky bottoms, reefs, wharves and pilings, other algae, crustaceans and molluscs.  The close-up photo above shows the plant structure, the Y-shaped cylindrical branches and how it can quickly become a small bush.

codium-fragile-1

Codium Fragile drying on lower shore rocks

Megan’s fascinating read explores this invasive plant and details, step-by-step, how she transformed it into paper.

Having cut, prepared and cooked the plant she proceeds to form her sheets.  The pulp, a rich green at this stage, undergoes a transformation once the sheets are dry and turns into translucent pieces with tiny green inclusions throughout.

dried-codium-fragile-paperSome of the pieces were allowed to air dry without flattening and as they dried they shrunk considerably and twisted into free-form dimensional shapes (Webmaster note: they look a bit like poppadoms to me!).  Here you can see several of them stacked together.

View her complete post on PAPERSLURRY with many more photos and detailed information, including step-by-step paper-making instructions, here.  In addition to her flat and dimensional pieces she has also explored wrapping armatures with the fibrous paper to form sculptures.

Visit her website and view some of her exhibition pieces, many paper and wire installations and see what she posts on instagram.

Resources:
http://www.megansingleton.com/about.html
http://www.paperslurry.com/2013/07/03/papermaking-with-atlantic-bioinvader-codium-fragile/
http://www.fisherycrisis.com/seaweed.html
http://www.algaebase.org/search/species/detail/?species_id=ueec97b2fec1aa47b

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About primrosepaperarts

Currently the Web Master for Primrose Paper Arts is Claire Brach
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