Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mushroom Spore Printing

This spring we have been studying mushrooms (mycology). Our favorite activity with mushrooms is making spore prints. I can't believe how easy it is to do.


Warning! You obviously want to watch your little ones around mushrooms! Many different kinds of mushrooms are poisonous and can make you very sick. When handling mushrooms please be sure to wash your hands when you are through.



Pick your mushroom and remove the stem so your cap will lay flat. Place the cap on your paper of choice. The mushrooms we found leave dark brown spores so we used a creamy colored paper. Some mushrooms leave white spores, so the color of paper you use is important.



Place a glass cup or bowl over the caps.


Let the caps sit under the glass for about an hour. Tick Tock, Tick Tock.......this part is very hard for Araina!


After an hour, lift the glass and the cap, you should have a spore print. You can make more with the same cap while it is still fresh.


Be careful, the spores will smear! We learned this the hard way. A touch of hairspray or spray adhesive should preserve the prints.

Finding where the spores are located on the mushrooms is half the fun. Morels, for example carry their spores on the outside; slice in half and place the cap on its side to make a print.



Don't bother using those cute button mushrooms from the market; they just are not fresh enough to leave the spore prints.


We felt these beauties were frameable!

22 comments:

Crescent Moon said...

I had no idea it was that easy. I really like the stick picture frame with the mushroom prints!

marytaylr said...

Cute ideas!

Louise said...

I have been wanting to do this for ages- how are you going to preserve them- or won't you worry.

Jane said...

Oh I love that-it may even be worth getting over my fear of wild mushrooms!

Artistmama said...

How fun! 'fraid there aren't many mushrooms around us in the desert but we'll have to try this when we go back east to visit.

Sherry said...

The picture of Araina waiting is so cute. :)

I love the stick frame.

Lisa said...

Louise, I think a touch of hairspray would preserve them.

Lisa :)

Joy said...

We've done that before too. So fun to see the intricate details. Love the shot of Araina patiently waiting. :)

Tammie Lee said...

It is wonderful to see how you did this. I have tried before and perhaps I used the wrong color of paper for the shrooms I was doing and saw very little. You give me inspiration to try again and again. I love little wild mushrooms!

jumbleberryjam said...

Brilliant! do you have morels?? They are my favorite! Especially freshly foraged! :-)

Stephanie said...

They're so pretty!

Shady Lady said...

What a fun idea. The stick frame it totally cool!!

Dawn said...

Cute frame, and picture! I always wondered how to do this...thank you for sharing. Now, I'm wanting morels with my dinner; those are my favorite!

andrea the pomegranates said...

on we have to do this! how cool are those patterns?! anyhow, i wanted to let you know that you have been tagged over at blog, only if you want of course! :)

bigbooty said...

oh yay, i've been wanting to try this again! i think the first time i didn't realize that you needed to cover the mushroom, so it was a bit disappointing...

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Wow, this is so cool! Thanks for sharing, I'll be linking.

Tara said...

This is a clever idea. I had no idea that the mushrooms would leave an impression on the paper with no ink or paint.

Truly amazing!!

Amanda said...

All I have to say is if I find a morel, I'm eating it! To heck with the spore prints :)

Lisa said...

HA!! Amanda you sound just like my mother, she would sooooo agree with you!

Lisa ;)

Annie said...

That's so fun and beautiful! I love seeing Araina waiting- even if it was hard for her. She's so cute. We had mushrooms last night and Lily spend a great deal of time just exploring one of them. We'll have to try this.

Anonymous said...

We did this over the weekend! Thanks for the idea. We've had a ton of rain and therefore a ton of mushrooms to pick.

glass printing machine said...

How fun! 'fraid there aren't many mushrooms around us in the desert but we'll have to try this when we go back east to visit.