Untitled – Bacterial Cellulose

Mantis Harper-Blanco, Ceramics, 2024

Project Overview

Bacterial Cellulose is unique in its property to resemble human flesh both in its moist and dried states of being. My project aims to keep the bacterial cellulose wet. The texture is provocative and erotic. The work functions as an initial prototype for this concept.


Bacterial Cellulose, similar to mycelium, has a multi stage growth process. Bacterial cellulose grows from the bacterial strain G.Hansenii. To start growing bacterial cellulose, you have to make HS Media. HS media is basically the nutritional solution for the bacterial cellulose to grow in. Starting off with smaller growth that then you inoculate a larger HS media bath with allows for a more streamline growth process. I chose to grow bacterial cellulose in a large plastic tub, which though was fun, made it more susceptible to mold growth. Yes! Bacterial cellulose molds! and molds pretty bad… and stinky. My BC grew a pink mold that was especially foul in smell. The mold isn’t the end of your BC though, BC is forgiving in that the mold is removable in most cases. Through a week of bleach baths, the mold had been fully removed and I was able to utilize the G.Hansenii creature I had grown for weeks.
I unfortunately have no process documentation to provide.

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instagram: @mazulx

Inspired by Sasha Fishman