Molesworth and Bird - Halen Môn

Molesworth and Bird

by | May 23, 2024

A few months back we had the welcome pleasure of learning a little more about the team behind Molesworth and Bird, Melanie Molesworth & Julia Bird, who make unique seaweed pressings on the British South West Coast. You might have spotted their beautiful prints in the shop here at Halen Môn or even in the changing rooms of our Wild Seaweed Baths. Their book Seaweed: foraging, collecting, pressing is out now. 

We asked them to tell us how they got started and how they go about pressing seaweed. 

Julia and I have been friends for decades!  We had both been coastal lovers and fascinated by seaweeds long before moving out of London to our respective homes close to the sea in Dorset and Cornwall.

In our London days we worked as interior stylists creating room sets and design stories to be photographed for magazines such as Homes & Gardens and Country Living. Much of our time was spent hunting around the interior design and antique shops for interesting props for our shoots. I had found a folder of beautiful Victorian Pressed seaweeds on one of these propping forays and we were intrigued by this forgotten craft.

Once we had moved to the coast we each started foraging and pressing seaweeds from along our local shores.. As we perfected our technique and our collections grew we felt encouraged to create our business together based around our shared passion for seaweed.

We now have two shops and a website selling a carefully curated selection of Limited Edition Seaweed prints, linen cushions, tablecloths, cards, bags and more ..all designed by us and created from images of our unique seaweed pressings.

We also offer seaweed pressing courses which have proved extremely popular. Every seaweed forage offers a different bounty …some days much better than others but that is one of the joys! In the Late Spring is when we find a favourite of both of ours – the glorious pink Sea Beech. It’s a fleeting period when they appear and seems to signal that Summer is here…or on its way.  As well as the pretty vivid pink and red seaweeds which make such beautiful pressings we are always on the hunt for rare and unusual specimens to add to our collection.

Seaweed pressing is a relatively simple process and can be done at home with little equipment but does require more time commitment than flower pressing. We share our method in our book ‘Seaweed , foraging, collecting, pressing’ published by Pavilion Books.

‘Seaweed , foraging, collecting, pressing’ by Melanie Molesworth and Juila Bird published by Pavilion Books.

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