by Julien David Hoffmann
Also called eco-graffiti or green graffiti, moss graffiti replaces spray paint, paint-markers or other such toxic chemicals and paints with a paintbrush and a moss “paint” that can grow on its own. It can also be considered another form of guerilla gardening.
I have seen a lot of viral “moss graffiti” posts in the past on several online platforms and always wanted to try this out by myself, as it looks really cool and easy to make.
The posts all claim that with some moss, buttermilk, sugar and water, you can create a mixture that, when applied on a wall, will grow moss along your paint strokes, thus creating some moss graffiti.
When we had our material cookery workshop, I decided to try it for the first time.
Before even starting, one of my fellow students, Regina, warned me about how the numerous recipees that one can find all over the internet on blogs and wikis didn’t work, how nobody really documented a success in moss graffiti growing so far and how all the promising images on the internet were fake.
Nonetheless, I wanted to try and see for myself if this seemingly easy technique works or not.
Here’s the recipee I based my mixtures on, while alternating some values and ingredients to try to get an optimal result:
One or two clumps (about a small handful) of moss
- 2 cups of buttermilk
- You can also substitute with yogurt (vegan yogurt can be used) NOTE: not flavored yogurt
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- Corn syrup (optional)
The first try during the workshop was a failure. I couldn’t manage to get a good consistencyfor the mixture to be thick enough for painting it on the wall. I also had some trouble with the blender I used, since it was old and roots of the moss kept blocking the cutting knives.
So I knew how to improve my mixture. I tried several different combinations of the above recipee and came out with four different mixtures that I painted on some wood bark and a stone I found in the backyard of my building.
Now the only thing left to do is water the moss regularly, wait and see.
After 7 days, still not much to see. The moss parts look a bit dry and don’t seem to grow. Maybe I used too much sugar, so the moss particles are glued. I should try a new mixture.
I will now continue to water the moss and try different places in my appartment, with more or less solar radiation.