Glow-in-the-dark Mushrooms!

Phosphorescent Mushroom!

In my first collaboration as The Glow-In-The-Dark Man I worked with PJ Kempen, who did this fantastic sculpt of a mushroom. I made a mold of it and this is my first casting. (*Updated with photos of second mushroom below.) Of course first castings at my place must always be glow-in-the-dark! 😎 (If I have any say in it! 😁😇)

Size is 2.75″ (8 cm) W x 2.25″ (6 cm) H. Made with Glow, Inc.’s glow powders “Pure Blue” (my personal favorite glowing color!) and “White”, which was manually applied to the “dots” on top of the mushroom before pouring the resin. I wasn’t sure if that would be enough of the white powder, but I think it came out nice.

I confirmed this was still glowing after a full night in darkness! Not much, but definitely rated “still visible after 12+ hours”!😎 That would qualify it for my shop. But I may keep the first one. (If you’d like to buy one of these, please let me know, or just stay tuned! I’ll update this article with a link to my Etsy shop as soon as I list one of these.)

This was a “full mold”, meaning that I cast the entire object in silicone and then cut the silicone to the edge of the mushroom cap. The trick was knowing where it was located within the silicone. To accomplish all of this I did three things:

  1. I painted the edge of the cap on the original sculpture with glow-in-the-dark paint. I used the high quality V10 solvent based paint. Too much paint would distort the original sculpture and the solvent based generally requires less buildup.
  2. I used Dragon Skin silicone because it is somewhat translucent. Enough so that it allowed me to shine a UV light on the resulting block of silicone and determine (generally) where the edge of the sculpture was located. The only trouble was that I cut a little too far on the underneath in one spot, which results in an “extra veil”, of sorts, on the final mushroom. (This can be peeled off, and isn’t even noticeable except under the the closest scrutiny.)
  3. In order to suspend the mushroom and create a “funnel” to pour the resin into, I added a small amount of clay around the base of the mushrooms, on the sides. I blended with the veins on the existing sculpture to make this “transparent”. I did this to maintain the indent on the bottom of the mushroom to house a magnet. (Unfortunately, I did not photograph this stage. In retrospect I should have because it was destroyed when I removed the original from the mold.)

This all worked out quite well, I think. One benefit of being a full mold is that it has a recess in the bottom to receive a small magnet, which we’ll simply glue in place. That means this mushroom should be pretty solid on any ferrous metal.

Another benefit is that it stands on its own the same as the original sculpture. Notice that he intentionally made one side lower than the other so it would appear more organic. There are many other asymmetries that I’m sure you can see.

A note about photo quality: unfortunately I broke the remote for my DSLR and that makes it almost impossible to take pictures of this in the dark. By using my iPad, I was able to get these. I do intend to remedy this situation very soon. I think better photos will be in order at that time. Please stay tuned. (Subscribe to this post if you’d like and I’ll update it for you.)

Please read all captions. All photos are of glow-in-the-dark mushroom made of resin, glowing blue and white.
I didn’t get the veils on the underneath of the cap. But it shows up and is pretty amazing! Great sculpt, PJ!
3/4 view That’s not a “shadow” underneath. It’s a part of the design on the box it’s sitting on. Just a happy accident! 😇
Top view. Slightly out of focus, but the iPad did pretty good considering that I was working darkness.

Update 2017.07.23 – Amanita Muscaria colors

First two mushrooms in white light. You can see more “bubbles” in the one on the left. I was overzealous with the glow powder and that actually caused the pitting.
First two mushrooms in total darkness.

Here are side views of the first two. I think I like this view the best!

Yes, it really looks that “white” in person. Pretty awesome stuff, those Glow, Inc. glow powders!

P.S. “Phosphorescent Mushroom” would be a good name for a band, wouldn’t it?!? 😃

Update 2017.07.27:

Those both have a decent glow. In fact, I’d classify the white one as very bright. (I’ve been thinking of making a “glow rating scale” of my own. More on that soon!)

So, how could I make something brighter? Well, Glow, Inc’s Green V10 in crazy quantities will produce a crazy glow-in-the-dark. In fact, if you charge it, you’ll have a glow-in-the-LIGHT! Check this out:

3 glowing mushrooms with the lights on, but they still are distinctly glowing.
This is with my shop lights on, not 1 meter from this setup. So that’s the very bright light. But you can see that in the “shadow”, the mushrooms are definitely glowing. It’s more obvious on the blue one and especially on the green one which actually has the brightest glow in the industry!

And a couple of the same thing in total darkness. Note the green mushroom still has some “veil” that will be trimmed. I like a clean silhouette. 😉

3 mushrooms glowing brightly: a white with red on top, similar to Amanita Muscaria (fly agaric); a extra-bright green; and a very bright blue with greenish-white spots on top
You can see that the green is glowing much brighter, as the specs for the glow powders would indicate. Notice that all three mushrooms cast enough light to light the shoe box lid standing behind them. It’s a gray color, but here you can see definite green and blue with possibly a little “white” on the lower left.
The same scene with a black object placed between the white and green mushrooms to show how much light they put out.. You can easily read by one of these! And the green one should glow for 24 hours! (I need to test that.) Here you can also see the blue spots on top of the green mushroom. That’s because I sprinkled Ultra Blue glow sand in the cap before pouring the mushroom. I used so much green powder that the individual grains get lost and they just contribute a bluish hue to the surrounding resin. 
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