Preparing Mushroom for Anthotypes
Using mushrooms for Anthotypes was the plan – read my previous post on the subject, and finally I found enough Saffron Milkcup albeit a bit dry and old. Nevertheless I made a solution with some alcohol and mashed them up. The results were surprising read on to find out what awesome things you can do with fungi.
How to make the Mushroom Anthotype solution
First collect a couple of mature mushrooms you wish to make an Anthotype from. (As there is very little to no information regarding this subject it’s all experimental. The results will vary from species and may not even work at all!)
To choose a good candidate pick something that reacts when it’s bruised or changes colour when oxidised – i.e in contact with air after cutting for example.
In my case I was under the impression that Saffron milkcup mushroom would be a suitable subject. However so far the orange coloured milkcup hasn’t itself proved to be useful in comparison to the Larch Bolete and the Parasol.
- Once you collected a good sample of mushrooms, lay them out and chop them up into smaller pieces and bits. Whether you use the stems or not depends very much if there’s a colour change in them. In the case of Parasols I used the stem, as I intended to eat the caps. This is also a great way to use the entire fruit body. The stems on the Parasol aren’t really good to eat anyway as they’re kind of woody.
- Place only a couple of the pieces of mushroom if they are moist enough into a cloth. Squeeze out the liquid into a bowl. Repeat this for the other pieces of your subject. You only need a quarter of a cup full to stain and cover an 8″ x 10″ sheet of paper.
- If little or no liquid seems present, leave the pieces to soak in 3-4 teaspoons of hot water and a little alcohol. The amount of water and alcohol is up to you, you need to feel how much is required to get an extraction. What you are going for is the deepest colour possible from your sample.
- Use a tray and pour in the solution, use a brush to coat the paper for good ten minutes. Try remove any lumps and avoid streaks
Larch Bolete – Suillus grevillei
I found quite a few of these Larch Bolete. Which of course are good to eat too. However on this occasion they were a bit old and no longer young. I thought why try them out as an Anthotype.
Parasol – Macrolepiota procera
This was to be the darkest of all the samples I tried.
The paper I using was a cold press watercolour paper – Fabriano Artistco. These kind of papers are more absorbent for sucking up all that mushroomy goodness into the paper pulp.
So far I’ve made a pale yellow, a dark yellow and a brown coloured paper from what I’ve collected.
Above I made a comparison of each colour that was produced with the different mushrooms. Now whether they’ll work as Anthotype’s is another thing – will they fade in the sun this is the question. So yes all this is very up in the air nonetheless it’s truthfully it’s a lot of fun.
Now the papers are dying, the next post will involve the long printing of the anthotype on these prepared papers.
How To Mushroom Spore Print the death cap
Finally something completely different. What can you do with one of the deadly fungus found in the woods ? Certainly not or ever attempt to eat it – far to dangerous for your health. However you can make a beautiful spore print from the Amanita Phalloides.
As deadly as some toxins may be, touching the mushroom is harmless. The harmful toxins in mushrooms must be consumed in order to harm you.
Pick a sample, remove the stem and sit the cap on some black paper and cover with a bowl or cup for at least 8-12 to make a print. (Wash the instrument you used to cover the cap thoroughly).