Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fascinating Fungi, Marvelous Mushrooms

By Lorie Lincoln

     Celeste Johnston recently taught a class called Fascinating Fungi, Marvelous Mushrooms at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  One of the class sessions was devoted to making paper using mushrooms.  We started by ripping up various types of paper into small pieces and putting those pieces into a bottle filled with water.  We shook the bottle and waited until the water had saturated the paper pieces, then put the water and paper into a blender and made a paper pulp  'puree' .  We added some chopped mushroom pieces after the blending was done.  We poured the 'puree'  into an aluminum pan and using a deckle lined with screening scooped the paper pulp onto the deckle.  We put another screen on top and pressed as much water out of the paper pulp as we could by hand.  Then we carefully removed the pulp from the deckle and screening and pressed more chopped mushroom pieces onto the wet paper. 

    This project doesn't take lots of expensive equipment, is fairly simple though a bit messy, and was a lot of fun.  Celeste Johnston hopes to be teaching a class just on paper making at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden this coming spring.

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