Riley, Fibers, 2023

Mycelium Headstone

For this project I was thinking about our cultural relationship to death and decay. I wanted to create a headstone made from mycelium to make a less permanent marker for graves that decays with time. This was also an experiment to try to form text with mycelium. This project did not work the way I initially imagined and I demolded it too early due to time constraints.


I laser cut words out of acrylic to attempt to create a relief for the headstone to grow around. I glued the letters to an enamel tin and pressed hemp and hay inoculated with PoHu into it. Unfortunately since the mold was not clear, I took the mycelium out before it had grown enough and it was not stable enough to stay together. If I were to do this again, I would use the vacuum former to make a better mold and allow for more growth time. However, I was still able to get a few letters that were somewhat visible and the PoHu was a great material to work with.