Finn Yencken, Interdisciplinary Sculpture, 2023
For this project, I tested multiple methods of mycelium growth. The project I was most looking forward to is still growing, but I will update this page if and when it works out. I wanted to combine mycelium and steel, mycelium being an organic and reparative substance that is used medicinally for people and the planet, literally to clean up toxins and oil spills. I wanted the mycelium to be bulging out of this captive form made of steel.
For the milk bottle piece, I was interested in recreating familiar objects with grown materials. I was considering milk’s effect on the environment and the viability for plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy being grown in lab environments for human consumption.
For the milk bottle, I used a mix of Pohu and Grey Dove Oyster mushrooms on hemp hull substrate, which seemed to grow really well. The mycelium grew slowly but surely towards the bottom, where there was presumably less air for it.
For the metal piece, I used Reishi mushroom on a substrate of sawdust and hemp hulls. I used an autoclave bag in the metal sculpture as a kind of mold for the mycelium to grow into.
First, I autoclaved the substrate, and then I inocculated it with the mycelium mix from Fungi Perfecti. I then added autoclaved water, ensuring that the mixture was just moist enough so that when squeezed, one drop of water came out. However, it seems like the Reishi likes a moister environment.
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