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An Ocean Garden: The Secret Life of Seaweed
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An Ocean Garden: The Secret Life of Seaweed

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In her captivating new book, artist and avid beachcomber Josie Iselin returns to the seashore to reveal the unexpected beauty of seaweed. Produced on a flatbed scanner, Iselin’s vibrant portraits of ocean flora reveal the exquisite color and extraordinary forms of more than 200 specimens gathered from tidal pools along the California and Maine coasts. Her engaging text, wh ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Harry N. Abrams
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4.61  · 
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 ·  51 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up at the library, mildly curious about the subject, and I was just fascinated by the author's writing about the subject, as well as her artwork concerning various forms of seaweed. (She is a professional artist). I was surprised to find out that so many people are avid collectors of seaweed of all types. I was also extremely fascinated to learn that so many varieties are edible, and that some types are annual, some types are also perennial; just as plants which grow on land a ...more
Wendy Feltham
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a sweet little book with photos of seaweed by Josie Iselin, an author/photographer who is enthralled with the beauty and diversity of American seaweed. Her photos look 3-D and as if she had photographed under water because she scanned them somehow. Most of the photos are set against a white background, and a few are against black, so you can notice details as well as the overall impression of each algae. Each photo captures the beauty and individuality of that species, and the text provi ...more
Alysha Rummler
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
A cute little book about seaweed. A quick interesting read.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning.
Peter Tillman
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-tech, art, favorites
I picked up this one after enjoying the author's Beach: A Book of Treasures: . Author Iselin picks up stuff she finds on her daily beach walks, mostly near San Francisco, and makes color scans for her books. For the seaweed, this works spectacularly well: the colors are luminous, and the occasional overlap of the seaweed fronds adds subtle darker tones. She says she scans some of them wet, and presumably salty -- she relates a disastrous experiment with r ...more
Last Ranger
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonders of the Surf:

This little coffee-table book provides an excellent read on the marvelous world of marine botany- namely seaweed. Josie Iselin's "An Ocean Garden" has lots of stunning images actually created on her scanner to make each specimen as life like as possible. The text is richly informative without being overly technical, kinda like reading Rachel Carson rather than a text-book. I recommend it to anyone interested in ocean life and natural history in general.

Last Ranget
Juli Anna
Apr 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: natural-history
Algae is very close to my heart, and these photographs remind me why I loved working with these incredible organisms. This is an unusual and rewarding book for anyone who studies of enjoys natural history illustration, and the text is a nice balance of informative and personal. It is, ultimately, a coffee table book--but a lovely one.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this! The images in this book are VIVID. The writing is clear and complements the photos. This book was a pleasure, and taught me many new things about the seaweed I previously only learned about through my personal interest on the beach.
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Science meets art in a glorious way. The seaweed scans are absolutely GORGEOUS! The text is beautifully written, intended for a novice but includes some great info about classification and life cycles. Josie's passion is contagious. A very quick read.
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The images of seaweeds are beautiful. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in seaweeds or the sea. I will certainly look at seaweed differently when I am in the ocean.
Forest (Sarka) Chick
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must for anyone who appreciates seaweed.
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: artsy, nonfiction, science
The MOST AMAZING & GORGEOUS photos! Who knew that seaweed could be so stunning!
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Madeleine Mackenzie
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Feb 11, 2018
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, nature, science
Beautiful photography!
Peg Vanpatten
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Jan 11, 2016
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Josie Iselin holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and an MFA from San Francisco State University. She began her art career in the field of photography and installation art, exhibiting throughout the Bay Area and teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCA). She is the author of five books with more in various stages of development in her San Francisco studio, ...more