I've been feeling stalled on the seaweed project for a while because I didn't have a clear vision of what a great format for it would be, but there have been two little bits of progress on it these last two weeks.
1) I suddenly found myself wanting to play around with the idea of creating a deck of seaweed-themed playing cards—it seemed like a fun format to cram all this information into, and could be a really beautiful object to get into the hands of museum gift stores. The four suits could even correlate to the four different types of seaweed—red algae, brown algae, green algae, and "other" (cyanobacteria + sea plants)!
As a first step, I realized that it'd be helpful to systematize my data a bit—so I turned my existing research into an Airtable.
A problem quickly revealed itself. While I'd come across almost 20 species of edible brown algae, I was hard-pressed to dig up 6 for green algae or "other". Not ideal, when one's looking for 13 of each type to make up a suit! It's possible that further research into cuisines I haven't learned much about yet (continental European, South American, African) could yield more types of green algae, but I suspect this imbalance may be fundamental. I need to think more on how to divide all of this up.
2) I approached forage witch / biomancer / food summoner / illustrator Ananda about making some drawings for the project, and she produced these STUNNING sample illustrations of Durvilleia antarctica (AKA cochayuyo) and Gracilaria (AKA ogonori / irish moss / gulaman / limu manauea). I'm really excited about the color work and the shapes she created, and the fact that she can nerd out with me about taxonomic issues.