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Can anyone help identify these mushrooms?


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Hello all!

I was wondering if any of you could help me identify these mushrooms I found on my walk? (North Wales, UK!) 

I'm asking because I like to make nature sculptures (I think that's what their called????) and would love to incorporate them

into what i'm making right now but I don't know if they are suitable.

Thanks a lot! (:

ps: ignore the pine cones and the bark haha! I couldn't help myself....

 

unnamed.jpg

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Looks like a type of Inky Cap Mushroom. I'd say either a species of Coprinellus or Coprinopsis. This type of mushroom deliquesces as it matures. That is, starting with the gills and eventually encompassing the entire cap, the mushroom turns into a black gooey substance. So, it may not be the best choice for incorporating into a sculpture. I have not ever tried dehydrating this type mushroom, but I'm guessing that if you succeeded in completely drying them --for use in a sculpture-- then the result would be fragile/friable/shriveled mushrooms that did not really look much like the fresh version.

Not completely sure about these being Inky Caps. Genus Panaeolus is another possibility. Probably not suitable for incorporating into art as the dehydrated version is apt to be similar to what is described above.

For incorporating into artistic projects I'd recommend polypores like Trametes versicolor, Stereum ostrea, Trametes betulina, Ganoderma applanatum (on which one may sketch drawings that can be preserved. Completely dehydrated morels also retain much of their original fresh appearance. 

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I have NO idea if this would actually work, and I doubt it would with inky caps in particular, but it is conceivable that if you got some kind of resin/epoxy/acrylic medium that could be applied to the mushrooms in thin coats while they are still relatively sturdy, and went with relatively sturdy mushrooms, that you might be able to seal them somewhat like a mosquito in amber, while retaining the form of the mushroom. It's hard to say how well this would maintain their fresh appearance (most resin/epoxy is transparent after all) in the long run, however, with a sturdy "shell" you could retain the fresh FORM at least and paint it to your specifications. Really it would take a bit of material exploration and experimentation. The dryer the mushroom the better, I'd imagine the process of rotting would still take place in most cases. This would however not affect the "shell" you created but would probably look quite ugly if you don't paint them. Of course, you could always cast sturdier mushrooms in plaster as well, probably quite easily. 

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On 5/12/2020 at 1:49 PM, Dave W said:

Looks like a type of Inky Cap Mushroom. I'd say either a species of Coprinellus or Coprinopsis. This type of mushroom deliquesces as it matures. That is, starting with the gills and eventually encompassing the entire cap, the mushroom turns into a black gooey substance. So, it may not be the best choice for incorporating into a sculpture. I have not ever tried dehydrating this type mushroom, but I'm guessing that if you succeeded in completely drying them --for use in a sculpture-- then the result would be fragile/friable/shriveled mushrooms that did not really look much like the fresh version.

Not completely sure about these being Inky Caps. Genus Panaeolus is another possibility. Probably not suitable for incorporating into art as the dehydrated version is apt to be similar to what is described above.

For incorporating into artistic projects I'd recommend polypores like Trametes versicolor, Stereum ostrea, Trametes betulina, Ganoderma applanatum (on which one may sketch drawings that can be preserved. Completely dehydrated morels also retain much of their original fresh appearance. 

Hi dave!

Thank you so much for the detailed reply, it has been very useful. Like you said, I have left the mushrooms and they have deliquesced very quickly. I will look into the mushrooms you suggested that can be for artistic purposes. I hope you have a good day! 

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On 5/12/2020 at 4:15 PM, brendan said:

I have NO idea if this would actually work, and I doubt it would with inky caps in particular, but it is conceivable that if you got some kind of resin/epoxy/acrylic medium that could be applied to the mushrooms in thin coats while they are still relatively sturdy, and went with relatively sturdy mushrooms, that you might be able to seal them somewhat like a mosquito in amber, while retaining the form of the mushroom. It's hard to say how well this would maintain their fresh appearance (most resin/epoxy is transparent after all) in the long run, however, with a sturdy "shell" you could retain the fresh FORM at least and paint it to your specifications. Really it would take a bit of material exploration and experimentation. The dryer the mushroom the better, I'd imagine the process of rotting would still take place in most cases. This would however not affect the "shell" you created but would probably look quite ugly if you don't paint them. Of course, you could always cast sturdier mushrooms in plaster as well, probably quite easily. 

These mushrooms deteriorated rapidly when left on their own, except the one I placed in an air-tight glass jar (which has maintained its form and color well interestingly enough!). Next time I come upon them I will definitely try your idea of preserving them in resin. Thank you for your detailed response. I really do appreciate it. Hope you have a great day!

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