Friday, September 11, 2020

Love of Mushrooms

Nature is Art 

So, my love for mushrooms is fairly new (a couple of years).  I first started taking a few pictures of mushrooms around our property (we are lucky to live in the middle of the woods along a river).

This first picture was taken in 2009.  I took a few more here and there, but wasn't too serious about it. 

    I then took a silver jewelry class at Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC, and came across some really amazing mushrooms (which I had no idea what I was looking at the time). 

While I was there, I decided to make a charm with a mushroom on it.  This is a Japanese technique of foil inlay.  The piece is only about 1/2" x 1/2" (pretty tiny).  It is silver leaf, gold, leaf, copper leaf on steel. The Amanita is common in Japanese art.

Then, my good friends had me watch Fantastic Fungi and I was hooked and I wanted to learn more! 
I would definitely recommend you watching it.

I really wanted to take a class at a local college, but didn't find anything that fit my schedule or what I wanted to learn about mushrooms.  I searched and found Mycologos
on-line, they offered several levels of classes.  I ended up taking: The Many Ways of Fungi: First Steps Into the World of Mycology  It was a great class, because he didn't get too deep into the scientific side (enough).  But, he also talked about growing, cooking, making paper and dye, and some of the medicinal properties of mushrooms.

Because of his instruction on the medicinal properties, I have started taking a daily supplement Thrive6, which contains Lions Mane, Reishi, Cordyceps, Chaga, Turkey Tail, and Maitake.  I am not a doctor or anything such, but I really think that this has helped with my digestion and energy. Plus, I really like how it tastes in my coffee.

Since taking that class, I have now taken over a thousand photographs!  I put my "snake" boots on and head out into the woods for about an hour - two hours at a time hunting for mushrooms.  Since I am still learning, I am mostly only taking photographs and learning how to ID them.  I really want to produce a book about the ones I find.  Most are probably pretty common, but you never know when you are going to come across one that has never been identified. They say that 95% of plants and animals have been identified, but 95% of mushrooms have not!

It is funny how things spread and now a lot of my friends send me pictures or links to mushrooms and I love it!!!  Please keep sending them!

A very dear friend lost her husband seven years ago, he was a Naturalist and she is a Botanist.  She came by to see me with the most lovely of mushroom books from her husband's collection.  She gifted them to me. Some have the most amazing plates of drawings.  One book is all plates! I will share more about those in a later post!

It inspired me to take some of my mushroom photographs and turn them into a repeating pattern (using Anne LaFollette's class). I was going for the retro vibe. You can find this pattern on the products at Society6. 

I think I have also been a good influence on my daughter, Nancy Martin.  Please check out all her work on .  She has a great vlog on her YouTube channel: Mushroom Girl Speed Draw.

I hope that you have enjoyed my journey through the world of mushrooms! I am sure there will be more mushroom art to come.

Photo Shoot at the Railroad

One of John's and my great friends, Scott, took us out to the old railroad station so we could shoot some photos.  As you probably know,...