Project Template – Mycelium

Kate Boyer, Interdisciplinary Sculpture major, Sustainability and Social Practices minor, 2024

Project Overview

“Oyster Oyster”

This is a piece about human consumerism, is supposed to be oysters that are made from oyster mushrooms.


I did not accurately follow the instructions for the first step which kind of jeopardized my project. I used double the amount of water I was supposed to, so I added a bunch more straw. After a few days I inoculated my straw with the amount I calculated in relation to the mass of my bags. In hindsight I think I should have added a lot more inoculum. My bags grew some mycelium patches but were mostly brown, when I packed my molds I didn’t pick and choose which chunks to use, I just poured it out. The second time I accidentally poured a little too much.

I let them grow in their molds for 11 days and was truly disappointed when they didn’t grow that much. My de-molded “oysters” were super fragile. I was worried they’d get crushed if they went back in their bag, plus, I wanted to maintain sterility; I tented my bag up like an exoskeleton with skewers and tape (below). I was dissatisfied with how they looked, the bigger one just looked like one big blob. I stacked them together in the way I had initially envisioned them, hoping to make them look like stacked oyster shells mimicking the growth of oyster mushrooms. I connected them with sterile toothpicks and let them incubate overnight.

During critique I took two off and set them on my log like a fancy restaurant would (no pun intended). After critique I decided the food connotation worked better in showing my concept, so I took them apart and chose to let mine continue to grow through winter break.

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