Tucked away at Table Cape, a musical project is underway.
Ever inventing, long-time friends Roger Bodley and Chris Henderson are trying their hands at making a new sort of instrument. A violin made out of kelp, specifically.
It all started with a challenge, Mr Bodley said.
He was at Table Cape musical event 'Tunes in the Tulips' when he came across Emily Sheppard and Yyang Ng, a musical duo playing a composition inspired by the flowing movements of seaweed.
Upon chatting with her Ms Sheppard afterwards, he learned she was studying kelp forests and seaweed's role in carbon sequestration and got to talking about the changing nature of kelp when treated.
He joked that if it went stiff enough, you could possibly even make a violin.
"Well, go and do it then', she said."
And so, Mr Bodley and Mr Henderson did.
The pair headed off to Marrawah on the West Coast, sorted through the kelp they found washed up on shore, and began the project that would consume their next few months.
"It's an awful lot more rewarding than I thought it was going to be," Mr Bodley said.
"I don't know what I first thought (would happen).
"I think I just thought 'I'll give it a go and if it works I'll give it to Emily, she can play play it and there we go'," he said.
"I had no idea there'd be so much interest, I just thought it was this little oddity."
Mr Henderson also didn't realise how much attention the violins would garner. For him, it was just about satisfying his curiosity.
"I didn't think we were going to revolutionise violins by doing this," he said.
"I've just got this wellspring of creativity. I can't turn it off. My workshop is just full of stuff.
"You know, it was the question, can you walk onto the beach at Marrawah, pick up a piece of seaweed, turn it into a violin and make it sound lovely at the end?"
The answer, they found, was yes.
In fact, they've had so much success that Ms Sheppard has been invited to perform on a kelp violin at the 2022 International Seaweed Symposium in Hobart next February.
THE EARLY STAGES
Mr Henderson had made one wooden violin before. Mr Rodley hadn't even done that.
Neither of them can play the instrument.
What they did have, however, was an insatiable curiosity and an appreciation for precision - a result of their former careers. Both doctors originally, Mr Bodley moved into radiology in the 70s, while Mr Henderson became an engineer.
It was just about taking the time to understand the material, Mr Henderson said.
"It took probably a month to figure out how to dry the seaweed properly, and then a couple of weeks to figure out how to make it work as a violin.
"The second violin took five days."
While the kelp works somewhat like a plastic once properly dried, the issue was balancing how to get it to that state in the first place.
When left out to dry, kelp shrinks significantly. The edges will curl, the seaweed can crack.
When not stored correctly, it can become mouldy. When there's moisture in the air, the kelp will absorb it.
A method was needed to draw out that moisture while leaving the pair with enough material to work with.
REFINING THE PROCESS
Having worked with wood regularly, Mr Henderson knew that heat could make a material more flexible. Tinkering about in his Rocky Cape workspace, he and Mr Bodley decided to build a heat source- an industrial-strength hairdryer, of sorts.
He's also built a drying rack that somewhat resembles a large-scale jaffle iron, to the keep the kelp flattened between fly-wire while the drying occurs.
For Mr Bodley, another step in the process is chucking the kelp in the freezer to draw out more moisture, snapping off the external ice.
"It made the kelp so much more flexible," Mr Bodley said. "And so suddenly, we had this material that was kind of like plastic once it dried and that made it so much easier to actually manipulate."
"You're left with something that's actually very lovely to sort of play with. You can cut it with scissors, you can stick sharp leather needles through it."
It's from this step that the pair veer away from each other, with Mr Bodley stitching his pieces together while Mr Henderson favours screws and glue.
It's a case of the artist versus the scientist, the pair says, but the end result is the same.
"Overall, it's about not getting stuck in your little box, and just thinking about what you can do... even if it's something wacky like making a violin out of kelp," Mr Henderson said.
"It might take some effort, but you can do it."
Having now played the instruments multiple times, Emily Sheppard said the violins are an impressive feat.
"It's been a huge learning curve," Ms Sheppard said.
"I had made a kelp pillow from bull kelp with a different method of hollowing it out, and I'd been using that as an amplifier with a violin running through it.
"So I knew kelp had some acoustic potential, but I didn't personally have the skills, time or patience to develop that further into an actual violin. There's just so many factors.
"I'm an optimistic person - I believed in their skills," she said. "I think between them there's about seven in existence now.
"Let's have some kelp domination."