A while back we featured Saltwater Oyster Depot, aquatic farmer Luc Chamberland's restaurant on Tomales Bay in West Marin. While we watched Luc shucking oysters, we couldn't help admiring the kelp basket on the counter used to hold the menus.
The basket was a gift from local resident Lina Jane Prairie. When she moved full time to Point Reyes six years ago, she found herself picking up seaweed on her walks and taking it home to look up and identify. One day she realized she had amassed so much seaweed she decided to put it to use. "I love baskets, so I thought I would see what I can do," she says. The result? A line of delightfully rugged kelp baskets and sculptural pieces available through Point Reyes Art.
Photography by Mimi Giboin for Remodelista.
Above: A Lina Jane Prairie kelp basket at Saltwater.
Above: Making baskets from kelp is a laborious process that involves cleaning and brushing seaweed in fresh water, then drying it out. It is then rehydrated before weaving, and once woven and formed, is left to dry in the sun for three to four days (stuffed with a cloth to maintain its shape).
Above: Another basket by Prairie, a licensed basket maker who has a permit to harvest seaweed in the nearby state park. Baskets start at $50.
Check out the work of another basket maker, East Coast artist Jonathan Kline.