byssus + alginate
- recipE -
- 100ml water
- 7gr sodium alginate
- 28gr byssus
- 2gr calcium chloride
- clean the byssus
- prepare the alginate solution
- mix and mold
- post-treatment: cross-linking
CLEAN THE BYSSUS
- Debeard the mussel removing the byssus with your fingers or with the help of a knife;
- Wash the byssus with soap trying to remove the bigger parts of shells remained attached;
- Leave the byssus dipped in vinegar for 3 days approx. to remove residual shells;
- Rinse it again and drain the excess water.
PREPARE THE ALGINATE SOLUTION
- Pour water into a tall container with a lid and add the alginate;
- Mix well with a whisk. It can help you closing the lid and shaking the container for a couple of minutes;
- Leave the solution in the fridge overnight to make it homogeneous and to let out the air bubbles.
MIX AND MOLD
- Add the byssus to the alginate solution and mix well;
- Pour the pulp achieved into a mold and spread it flat;
- Protect it with a gauze and let it dry in the sun.
Post treatment: cross-linking
- Prepare a 1% calcium chloride solution with water;
- Spray the byssus composite with the calcium chloride bath;
- Let it air dry. It is now water resistant (but will absorb water if soaked);
- You get a resistant material that can be molded and shares machining properties with wood.