Mushroom Prints

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been doing some mushroom prints.  They are easy to do – just pick a mushroom, cut the stem off and place the cap on a piece of paper gills side down.  Cover the mushroom with a glass or bowl – this keeps the air inside humid and also reduces air movement.  Leave it for 6-12 hours and the spores will drop from the mushroom and form markings on the paper that match the pattern of gills.  These patterns and the colour of the spores vary – some look best on light paper while others have white spores that look best on black paper.  These attributes of the print can in fact be used as an aid to identifying the species of mushroom. More info here.

this is one of several I did yesterday, quite small at only a few centimeters across but the detail is exquisite.  Not sure what artistic purpose I’ll put these to yet – maybe a little book.  I first heard of mushroom prints through the work of British artist Chris Drury. He has used mushroom prints occasionally in his works on paper, though he mostly makes site specific works in the environment.  Well worth taking a look.

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3 Responses to “Mushroom Prints”

  1. Lyn Weir Says:

    Hi Pete,
    Just added you to my blogroll – you might pick up some extra readers/stats.
    Will watch out for your work on your blog.
    I also read Ampersand Duck – an ANU book person I think.
    Just started back doing some real artwork this year – have spent a number of years looking after family (kids and elderly in-laws) – so trying to actually get restarted…

  2. kendrajk Says:

    What an awesome idea! I love easy and nature-y art things like this. I will have to try it 🙂

    Do you use mushrooms found outside or do mushrooms bought at a store?

  3. Pete McLean Says:

    Hi Kendra

    I always use mushrooms that I find outside, though I assume shop bought mushrooms will work just fine if you want to try it out.

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