Saturday, 27 April 2013

Last Weeks Overview (April 22nd-26th)

Due to term time having started, we unfortunately have a significant reduction in the time which we can dedicate to the project. We are however still continuing our progress whenever we can spare an hour to do so and this post is for the collective progress of the last week.

Algae Updates

On Tuesday we went to visit Annette to see how the algae plates were progressing. The drawn lines were certainly showing up and we were told that underneath the microscope filaments and small amounts of colour were starting to become visible. Unfortunately, to the naked eye there was very little to no colour in most of the plates so far, but it's a good start. When the algae were drawn onto the plates they were spread very thinly, so it's likely they just need a bit of time to become more established. We will come and check on their progress again in a week’s time and for now, left all the plates to grow in the lab as it was warmer than the basement. They would probably grow slightly faster in this environment, although so far the different locations had shown a very negligible difference in growth.

The algae grown in the flasks were also showing progress. Below is a picture of one of the flasks in which the algae is beginning to grow in a swirling pattern.

Annette also showed us some very interesting test tubes, where after old algae had died after around a year, the pigments had broken down to form a pretty splendid array of colours. 

The red algae, which are in life quite brown, had formed very bright shades of pinks and purples, while the green algae had formed shades of blue and turquoise. These colours had stained the glass around where the top of the solution would have formally been and had formed some very interesting and pretty patterns. These colours would be mostly permanent accept for been possibly faded by the sunlight over time and as they were dead, little maintenance for a display would be necessary.  Annette said that they could be sent to the glassblower to remove the desired sections of the tubes and I thought that they could be made into rings or beads. For the spheres they could be made into beads and then threaded through an internal connection of wires within the sphere.

 Annette also told us about this...
Another situation of where algae have been used in containers to make a sort of artwork.

We also put algae into our plastic tubing this day. It was filled up completely and then in around a week’s time, it will be drained. By this time a sufficient amount of algae should have started growing on the plastic itself and we can observe its progress over time.

The largest type of pipette was used to fill up the tube. The tube itself was held in a container with the ends upright so that the algae wouldn't leak out.

Other Progress
Work on the flower and bee model continued throughout the week. By the end the bee had almost reached completion, but the flower still has some work left to go. Pictures of this progress will be uploaded next week.

And lastly, Jessica made this video of our progress and I forgot to link it in the last blog post of two, so here's that and apologies for the short post!

^watch, watch, watch!

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