Morphogenesis is the biological process that cause an organism to develop its shape.

I was drawn by the beauty of radiolaria and chose Spumullarian, a species of it for this project.

Before i go into details, i have to show this video. I was blown away by the beauty and how each species of radiolaria is so unique and different from each other.

*This video does not consist all of radiolarians. There is about 3000 species.*

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My initial idea was to create the unit using transparent egg shell or jelly cups. I sliced off the base of the egg shells and jelly cups, With the balloon as the base, i pasted the jelly cups onto it with scotch tape. However, it does not resemble my modular structure.

I consulted with Peter and he recommended using paper mache method to do it. I remembered when i was young, my whole family helped my brother to do his art project in which we used paper mache. We spent many hours doing it and i was half dozing while making it. We had a whole lot of mess in our hands. I was traumatized by the experience and try to avoid using paper mache.

I suggested using clay instead because it is much faster and easier to work with.  Clara introduced to me jumping clay because of its easy to mold and give a good result. The harden clay will have a slight spongy effect which fit my modular characteristic too.


As the SEM of Spumullarian has repetitive of circular pores, i outlined the clay around a 50 cents coin. After i realized that clay does not stick on balloon, i lined up the hollow circular molds in one row, placed it round the balloon and  pinched the ends together.


As i was half-way through covering the balloon with circular clay, i saw that my structure is oval not round at all. It turned out that i placed the middle row slated and the subsequent rows that were build upon it became lopsided. I immediately break apart the structure and wrapped it around a bigger balloon.


After i covered up the balloon, i pinched each holes to give them a more obvious conical appearance and patched up the gaps. Due to the transferring of the structure from one balloon to another sized one, the circular holes were squashed at some point. I tried to make up the lack of uniform pattern by making the holes as round as possible.


Constructing the inner capsule from the SEM of Spumullarian is much easier with previous experience. As the scale is much smaller, i used a table tennis ball for the base and a small battery as the size of the holes. After covering up the ball, i separated the clay in the middle to take out the ball and fixed them back together.  The tiny ball is then made suspended in the middle with nylon string.




Jumping clay is really fun to work with. It smell good, not messy and does not stick to hands. However, it harden really fast under aircon environment. I think radiolarian is a theme which i can further explore maybe for my third year final project hahaha!