i have done mushroom spore prints with my students - they are beautiful!
one i did several years ago is framed and hangs right above my computer -
i'm looking at it as i type this. spore printing not only creates beautiful
images but is also one of the methods using for identifying mushrooms.
species that look alike can sometimes be differentiated by the color of
their spore prints. the audobon field guide to mushrooms and fungi is a
great resource and there are lots of wonderful mycology websites, too.
in so far as technique, i have always had the best luck using good quality
dark paper with a smooth texture to print on. the caps used for printing
should be cut off soon after they open - if they're too old they will have
already realeased a lot of their spores. right after cutting them off (be
sure the stem is cut very short so the cap will lay flat) place them on the
paper gill side down and cover them with a bowl. let them sit overnight
before carefully removing the cover and cap to reveal the print. when
handling any type of wild mushroom, be sure to thoroughly clean hands,
tools, etc. afterward...
often the prints are fragile - easily smeared or distorted. to preserve
them i make sure they are dry and then put them under glass. i wonder how
spray fixative would work, sprayed from the back of the paper, maybe?
----- Original Message -----
From: FRANCIS REDFERN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: ArtsEdNet Talk <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2001 9:38 AM
Subject: mushroom prints
> Many years ago a fellow teacher had her students make mushroom prints.
> All I remember is that the students brought in BIG mushrooms and set
> them on construction paper and covered them. A day later they had a
> beautiful print that the mushroom had made. I'm leaving out lots of
> details, I know. Can anyone fill them in?