Curious Kombucha

Feature image
'Plankton Diptych' detail, Zela Bissett

Curious Kombucha

Zela Bissett


An installation of works formed from microbial cellulose, specifically kombucha film.

The dried Kombucha film (pellicle) is essentially a bioplastic formed from the SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast), of the fermented drink, Kombucha. When dried, the pellicle (fleshy growth on top of the culture) is surprisingly strong, flexible and translucent, and can be moulded, shaped, stitched and used in a variety of ways.

Zela Bissett makes the kombucha in her kitchen and shapes it into forms resembling marine phytoplankton called coccoliths scaled up. The message portrayed is that alternative materials are available that could greatly reduce our impacts on the planetary ecosystems.

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