Introduction: How to Make Moss Graffiti (%100 Working Method)
First time that i saw the picture of moss graffiti i thought that this was a brilliant idea. Then i searched it on the internet, had a hope to find diy moss graffiti. The recipes i tried usually were disasters (like this methods) I've also seen a lot of people who tried this kind of recipes and didn't succeed (mostly on youtube) like me. Than I realized that this recipes weren't logical. Why do i need beer, sugar or yoghurt to make a moss graffiti? They were all useless materials who has no specific or scientific effects on moss growing biologically. Their only plus was thickening the solid to paint easier and become more humid, but i was sure agar agar gelatin or starch would work %1000 better than that useless materials. So i decided to make my own. Also i found out that professional moss graffiti artist who made artworks like this using sheets of moss (like in this instructable) , not that blended moss mixture.
Step 1: Materials
In my recipe you will need:
: Liquid fertilizer & Water
Why: Moss is a PLANT NOT AN ANIMAL. So it won't need any carbohydrates like sugar in the traditional recipe. It needs plant food. Also Beer is useless for plant growing because it has no nutrition effects on moss. It contains alcohol so its harmful to the moss too.
Why: Agar-Agar and gelatin are very great at stocking water inside them unlike buttermilk (?). Also they will make the soil like dough so it will be more easy to paint. (i was out of gelatin and made it with starch for easier painting but gelatin for the best.
: A glue that is not water soluble (like epoxy)
: A pencil or chalk to sketch the main borders of graffiti
Step 2: Finding Moss
Unless you are living in a very hot and dry area, you can find moss anywhere.They are usually on rocks, trees and soil if there is humid enough. I live in istanbul and i can find moss anywhere i look because of the rainy and humid cool weather in the autumn, winter, and spring. Don't do moss graffiti in a dry and hot season. It can be pretty hard to find moss and making it live on the wall is even harder. You should find local moss species that grow up near your area so they can survive alone in the future. This is the moss specie i found near my house (i don't know its name if you know say to me)
Step 3: Sketch
If you are new at this things like me start with a small and not complex shape like ying yang, moon, recycling symbol or something like that. You don't have to be perfect.
Step 4: Glueing the Cotton
Cotton can absorb water really fast and dry slowly so the base of our artwork must be something like cotton. Just simply find a wood piece and bedaub the glue on the surface of the wall. After doing that immediately paste the cotton on the surface. It won't wash away at the rain because of the glue is not water solvent.
Step 5: Making the Soil
I used normal potting soil, added water with fertilizer. Then I added starch slowly. The mixture will be getting thicker and thicker, at the end it will become more like a paste. You should use agar agar for the best result because it can absorb huge amounts of water. Then I take the paste and bedaub it on the cotton. I stopped it until it become 0.5 cm thick
Step 6: Shaping Your Moss
In this step you must trim and cut your moss in a shape that look like your artwork. they don't have to be perfect. You can always cut them into smaller pieces and stick them to the soil as 3 or 4 parts. this is a lot easier. In other recipes they use blended moss mix, i think you can do this too. BUT i tried it and didn't succeed because the grow was so slow and they need special care so much. this cut and paste method is a lot of easier than that blending method because the moss is one part and dont need to regrow itself. Also you are unable to maintain that special care to your blended graffiti on the streets unless you don't do this in your backyard but this recipe will be work in minimum care.
Step 7: Finished
You has just finished moss graffiti. Go and celebrate it. Don't forget to spray water on it once a day. For the first month they will need special care to survive. After that time they can live without your special care if there isn't a flood or drought. Also don't forget to shape and trim it once a month, they can grow really fast. If you made any moss graffiti with this method (or the blending method, I've never seen a really successful one) post the picture of it!