Will my 20-pound giant ball shrivel up and break apart? Will the vessels turn into leathery cups? Time will tell and failure will be a teacher.
In the meantime, I turn to the research portion of this playing with materials which leads to playing with ideas.
The first nations of New Zealand called it Rimurapa, and cut into the honey-comb-like walls of the blades to create bags — Poha — to preserve and cook their harvests of muttonbird, an oily shorebird. Or they cut slits in the bags, filled them with shellfish, starfish and abalone, then tossed them in the water to seed coastal areas. Or they attached two inflated pohas and used them as water-wings in strong currents. Or lined woven reed hulls to make super-buoyant Zodiac-type vessels. The first nations in these parts transported oolichan oil.
That's all before listing all the nutritional attributes, and there was plenty of play in that bull kelp too. The high concentration of alginate makes the material a natural rubber ball.
Among the fascinating findings are the Seattle area sound performance artist Suzie Kozawa, who makes wind instruments from bull kelp; and Everett, Washington fiber artist Jan Hopkins who combines bull kelp with sturgeon skin and other materials in her conceptual vessels.