Bacterial Cellulose

Tim Eichwald, Interdisciplinary Sculpture, 2023


Project Overview

This project is a simple exploration in the cultivating bacterial cellulose for use an artistic medium. The finished project is a light-hearted commentary on unsustainable nature of air travel. All of the materials used in this project are renewable and biodegradable.


The bacterial cellulose was cultivated from a nutrient-rich grow media inoculated with G. hansenii. This media was placed in a pyrex dish modified to allow the circulation of filtered air. This dish was then incubated for a week. After the first pelicle was harvested, the media was then reinoculated with a more aggressive strain of G. hansenii and left for another week. This produced the more even and opaque pelicle shown below. The first pelicle was placed on a flat surface with paper towels, and weighted to dry flat. This produced a paper-like substance which was then folded into a traditional “paper airplane.”