I recently made a little foray into the world of sculpting when I realized that a veneer that I had made while working on my new Crackle Compendium tutorial was exactly the color of the cap of a brown mushroom. I knew, of course, that lots of people have made polymer clay mushrooms, but I when I started looking around I realized it was “a thing”.
There are several main genres of polymer clay mushrooms. Some are realistic (like mine, below), others are a variation of the classic storybook cartoon toadstool with spots. Still others have faces or meld with other materials, like crystals, and give a nod to a secret fantasy world. Have a look at these fun fungi, all made with polymer clay.
Mary Terrill makes realistic woodland mushrooms. Many of them have a spike in their stem to allow them to be inserted into the soil of your houseplants. Others are made as a small diorama, created on a slice of wood or rock base. You can see more of Mary’s mushrooms on her Instagram, here. If you’ll look closely at the mushroom below, you can see that she included a small cicada shell nestled in the moss.
Angel (@infinitecreator_) on Instagram is another mushroom maker, but her creations seem to have either a function or an alternate identity. These mushrooms have large stipes because they contain a secret function as a lantern. Yes, each one is made from translucent polymer clay and contains a small light.
Polymer clay mushroom beetle house
Unlike many of the polymer mushrooms that you’ll see, this one is quite large. It’s about 5 in (12cm) high. It was made by Karolina Söderberg, who runs a polymer clay supply shop in Sweden called Hobbyrian. This mushroom is a beetle house, and you can see the little gray beetle hiding in the grass to the left of the steps. Karolina made this mushroom for me after reading my Faux Lampwork Tutorial, to demonstrate that my faux lampwork glass technique could be used for larger items, too, and not just beads. If you’d like to see all sides of this polymer clay mushroom house, there’s a short video of it on my YouTube channel.
Sometimes polymer clay is just the first step of making figures like this. This mushroom was first made in polymer clay and then a mold was made and cast in resin. The resin was then painted. I suppose the cap of a mushroom makes sense as the cap on the head of a fantasy forest creature. The artist, Sara Rojo Fantasy Art sells these sweet little mushrooms (and other cute creatures) on her Etsy shop. You can also see more in her Instagram.
Polymer clay mushroom earrings
Polymer Clay Crackle Mushroom
I didn’t intend to make a mushroom. I don’t usually sculpt. But when I made the crackle sheet, it came out looking very organic and a mushroom seemed like the perfect idea. The core is made of compressed foil and I covered that with a layer of Sculpey Original. The crackled sheets were layered onto the baked base.
I wasn’t looking forward to making gills, but when the cap and stipe came out of the oven, the colors were perfect for a King Bolete mushroom. So I made a light yellow underside and spent 20 minutes poking holes into it! You can see more pictures on The Blue Bottle Tree’s Facebook page.
Edita Orlova says that the mushrooms that grow in her flowerpots in the summer were the inspiration for these wispy honey mushrooms that she’s using to decorate a Christmas tree. You can see more of her creations on Instagram here. I love that polymer clay is strong enough for such thin and delicate stems. Not at all fragile like the real thing.
Here’s what happens when you sculpt a magical mushroom on top of a quartz crystal point. Kamila Styba makes very nice, lovely woodland mushrooms and other creations such as painted tote bags in her shop called Miło Things. (Miło means nice, but in a sweet, beloved way in Polish. Sometimes we don’t have an exact word in English.) Kamila’s woodland creations have a preciousness to them. Like they’re secret, beloved treasures that someone has found in a magic forest.
Green and Blue Mushrooms
Because our ordinary culinary mushrooms that we buy in the store are very “matte” and have no shine or gloss, it’s easy for us to assume that mushrooms are always that way. But no, some varieties have a slime and appear wet. These gree and blue fantasy mushrooms from Petra of Rimfrost Art on Etsy. Petra usually makes pendants and talismans with crystals and minerals that have been embellished with mushrooms and other organic elements. You can also see more of her work on Instagram.
I love that...
one common material unites all these various styles and types of polymer clay mushrooms. Just as there is an incredible array of natural mushroom forms in nature, the human mind creates infinite variations that use nature as a mere suggestion. What will the next artist create when they feel inspired to create a polymer clay mushroom? I don’t know, but I think the world will be better for it.