The Kingdom of Fungi


I'm fascinated by fungi. Do you know that they are classified as an own kingdom like plants or animals? They are not only having a cryptic lifestyle "eating" dead matter, fungi can be symbionts of nearly everything: plants, animals, parasites and other fungi. Mostly in springtime they throw their spores into the air like elf's dust. Fungi are connected by the mycelium, a network still relatively unknown. The biggest mycelium on earth, which is 8,8 km2 wide, can be found in Malheur National Forest (USA) - it's the oldest living being on earth with an age of more than 2400 years (look at BBC). Scientists think that the mycelium could be something like a brain for the fungi.


Fungi are astonishingly near to paper in books. They are "eating" dead wood, especially the wood-hardener lignin (a biopolymer) and cellulose. Old books have a lot of lignin colouring the pages yellowish. For producing soft paper you have to react like fungi - you have to pull out the lignin.


Inspired by the secret life of fungi I developped a method to harden them like wood. I give them a mycelium of colours or glittering spores - and the shine of life. They nearly seam to eat the delicate laces of 19th century paper. These precious parts of fungi can get brooches or pendants.

Some fungi get so old that they build growth rings like trees.

They are no plants nor animals and yet they are living beings. Is it the nacre of a rare shell? It's a piece of a mushroom.

PvC

Storytelling is my passion. Fascinated by ancient jewellery from stone age and Celtic times. Writing and upcycling books.

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