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‘Disgusting and beautiful’: Dundee student’s bacteria jewellery goes viral on Tiktok

dundee tiktok bacteria djcad student
Chloe Fitzpatrick has created jewellery pieces from parts of her body including her eyelashes.

A Dundee design student has gone viral on TikTok for using bacteria to create jewellery.

Chloe Fitzpatrick has amassed more than 20 million views for her videos on the social media platform.

The 21-year-old, who attends Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, uses scientific methods to create jewellery from the bacteria found on her body and in plants.

dundee tiktok student
A petri dish with bacteria colonies as a piece of jewellery.

Chloe, originally from Bo’ness, said: “I’ve got a lot of mixed reviews online – a lot of people were freaked out but I think it’s a normal reaction.

“It’s about having a mix of disgusting and beautiful.

“There are so many beautiful forms and colours naturally created by bacteria.”

How is the jewellery created?

Chloe swabs parts of her body and plants, and transfers the samples to petri dishes with a special growth medium inside.

The bacteria then takes about a week to develop at room temperature.

Chloe then selects the coloured colonies that have been created and isolates them in a new dish so they can multiply.

@chloefitz_design

The beauty

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At that point it is mixed with a UV resin and set in rubber moulds of designs, before being sealed with gloss.

The DJCAD student has spent months perfecting techniques for the project with scientists at the university and the James Hutton Institute.

She has shared the journey with her 63,000 followers on TikTok and on her website.

Everyone’s bacteria is different

Chloe believes bacteria could become an eco-friendly alternative to heavy chemical-based dyes and pigments.

She said: “The project shows that bacteria is all around us – in our bodies and in plants.

“I want to help people acknowledge and appreciate it as a form of nature and a form of art.

“It’s really inspiring to me, and it has a lot of potential to make the industry more sustainable.

@chloefitz_design

They will grow next week 🌱🌷

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“Everyone’s bacteria is so different, and people seem interested in seeing how they grow.

“It would be cool to do a workshop in the future and let people grow their own bacteria and turn it into jewellery pieces.”

Chloe is among hundreds of students exhibiting their work at Dundee University’s degree show between Saturday May 21 and May 29.

Those graduating from across the art school will have their projects on display for the public throughout the week.

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