Autumn in Finland is absolutely gorgeous. A person that loves nature such as myself will always find time to go for long walks in the forest. With every walks in nature, my mind will find peace and ideas will just pop in-mind for the next design. The original idea to use mushroom in my designs came about when I was looking for wild flowers during my daily walks. I accidently found a cluster of tiny mushrooms that look so beautiful and serene that I felt the wish to recreate that scenery in our product, and so we did.
Mushrooms are the fruiting body of fungi, while fungi makes up of hyphae (the tiny threads underground, imagine millions of white intricate roots). In other words, in any old growth forest such as the ones Finnish has, there will be, undoubtedly mushrooms to be found. There are hundreds, if not thousands, different types of mushrooms abound, and I can honestly say I don’t know any of them well enough to be able to teach or assist anyone in foraging mushrooms. All I can claim here is that I know where to find them, especially the miniscule types of mushrooms that I used in my products. Are they poisonous? Or are they edible? I really don’t know.
When I go foraging for these mushrooms, I took care to wash my hand thoroughly afterwards and use tweezers when ever possible. To be honest, these mushrooms are so tiny that I do need to use a tweezer most of the time so that I can pull them out cleanly from the ground. To find these tiny fungi are not difficult for me, experience taught me that they will always be a cluster or two in a deep overgrown bush or under a dead piece of wood. I never take more than I need to use and never from the same cluster. We always need to preserve some so that it will be able to re-grow itself again in the next season. The best time to go foraging for these tiny miracles are directly after a rainy day late in summer. After a wet day, they will be everywhere that I looked at and freshly grown out of the soil. Once I picked them, I will keep them in a box that are line with blotting paper.
Once in studio, we don’t rush to dry them because mushrooms do stay fresh for couple of days after. The drying process usually take a few days and after they are dried, I will keep them in a tight container. I am not able to share how I dry these mushrooms because the process that we develop took us nearly a year to figure out. It is by far, our best business secret and regretfully, it must stay that way for a little while until we figure out a way to patent the process. For those that do dry mushrooms for designing purpose, will undoubtedly understand my reasoning. Mushrooms that are dried takes effort (on our side) to keep it looking fresh and alive, and it is not the same like drying flowers. Mushrooms are made up of 80% liquid, so in order to dry it and made it stay looking as though it’s still planted in soil, do take some experiments and skills to be able to achieve it.
With this blog post, I like to share a video we made a while ago regarding mushrooms foraging. I hope you do enjoy it and please leave us any comments if you want to know more about how we find our mushrooms.