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How to make Mycelium Objects?

Introduction

Explore the magical world of mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, to create unique and sustainable objects. This guide will take you through the essential steps, from preparing the growth medium to the final drying process, to ensure your mycelium object turns out beautiful and robust.

Materials Needed:

  1. Mycelium-inoculated Growth Medium
  2. Molding Form
  3. Cling Wrap
Sawdust spawn for logs or outdoor patch full image

Steps:

a. Selection:

The growth medium is crucial as it is the substrate for mycelium growth. Each medium offers a different texture and appearance for the final mycelium object. Starters might prefer to use a ready-made medium, but as you gain experience, experiment with various substrates.

Use our Hemp hurd for larger, lightweight objects or sawdust for intricate, smaller molds which lends a heavier feel to the object.

b. Receipt and Storage:

Once you have your mycelium medium (either purchased or self-prepared), store it away from direct airflow or direct sunlight light in a well-ventilated space. Keep it sealed until colonisation begins to occur.

c. Colonisation:

Monitor the medium until mycelium colonization starts, indicating by a slight whitening of the medium. It doesn’t need to be entirely white for you to move over to the next step.

Sawdust spawn for logs or outdoor patch close up image

d. Breaking Down:

After colonisation, break the bag and crumble the content, ensuring it’s adequately broken down for easier handling and mold filling. Make sure to do this without opening the bag to avoid contamination.

Mycelium Mold growth form- Breaking the bag

Preparing the Mold:

a. Cleaning:

Clean your mold using warm water, soap, and a soft sponge. For an extra level of sanitation, spray the inside of the mold with 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe it down with a paper towel.

Best Practice: Work in a quiet room with no windows, and ensure the fan or air conditioner is turned off to minimise airborne particles. It’s advisable to wear a mask and gloves to maintain a clean working environment. Utilising a non-porous surface, like a glass top, is ideal for work as it’s easy to clean and disinfect.

b. Filling:

Fill the mold with the broken-down medium. Smaller molds can be compacted more tightly than a larger mold.

hemp hurd paver filled by hand

Covering and Air Exchange:

a. Leveling and Cleaning Edges:

Ensure the filled mold is levelled, and clean any extra substrate off the edges using a paper towel.

b. Wrapping:

Cover your filled mold with cling wrap securely and make some holes to facilitate air exchange.

hemp hurd plant pot growth in mold

Growth and Maturation:

a. Incubation:

Place the mold in a suitable environment to allow the mycelium to grow and bind the substrate together. The growth period typically ranges between 5 to 7 days, depending on the mycelium strain and surrounding temperature.

Unmolding and Aerial Mycelium Development

a. Unmolding:

Once matured, carefully unmold your object. Be extra cautious with intricate molds to prevent damage.

b. Aerial Growth:

Post-unmolding, place the object in a low-humidity and no airflow environment, which will encourage the mycelium to develop aerial mycelium, giving your object a nice matte texture.

Tip-Keep it in a plastic storage container with no light for 1 day.

Drying and Finishing:

a. Drying:

The mycelium object needs to be dried to stop growth, preventing fruiting, which could alter its texture and appearance. Dry it in an oven with the door slightly ajar, checking every 30-60 minutes. Aim for the object’s weight to reduce to 70% of its original weight, which might take 2-3 hours. The drying process is done at 80°C or 180F.

Tip-Do not use fan forced setting.

b. Repair and Finish:

If there are any damages or imperfections, lightly paint over them with white paint to blend. Some artists also use hairspray to provide a finished shiny look.

Additional Tips and Tricks:

a. Mold Preparation:

Creating your own molds and growth medium can be a gratifying experience, giving you complete control over the project. Alternatively, purchasing ready-made items is a time-saving option, especially for beginners or those with tight deadlines.

b. Home-Made Growth Medium:

A simple recipe for a homemade growth medium is using kitty litter or paper pellets. Add boiling water to eliminate any existing microorganisms.

If you wish to create your own growth medium, please ensure to pasteurise the medium and purchase the Reishi, Turkey Tail or any other mycelium of your choice from our 100gms-grain spawn or 1 kg grain spawn listing.

We also sell hemp hurds in bulk to create your medium at home.
c. Alternative Mycelium Strains:

Experiment with different mycelium strains to discover a variety of textures and growth characteristics.

d. Timeline:

7-10 days of colonisation in the mold, 1 day of aerial growth, 1 day of drying and then your object is ready!

e. Home Mold Ideas:

Common household items like plastic containers, styrofoam, or cardboard boxes wrapped in cling wrap can serve as molds. Ensure organic materials are wrapped to prevent mycelium from consuming them and to keep them from absorbing water.

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