Algologies: A Small Experiment in the Use of Certain British Seaweeds in the Preparation of Agar

When I first experimented with botanical printing with seaweed I noticed that some kinds of seaweed turned completely to jelly in the steamer. I had accidentally stumbled upon Chondrus crispus, commonly called Irish moss, which was one of the British seaweeds tested in WW2 as a possible source of agar. I decided to try and create my own agar from scratch using these methods. Images of the experiments are below.

Lose bits of Chondrus crispus (Irish Moss) gathered from the shore
Boiling the seaweed
Extracting the gel
Pouring the plates, but when the set, they were not as gelled as normal agar
So I tried freezing them to remove the non-gelling agents (I read this was possible)
I added milk and stock for nutrients
I also added honey
I poured the plates which set a little better
I added silk botanically printed with seaweed and inoculated the plates with some seaweed, I hope the bacteria from the seaweed will further pattern the silk
My attempt at British ‘agar’ with the book that inspired it and some botanically printed silk

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