paper artist ann wood recreates a world of intricate mushrooms

paper artist ann wood recreates a world of intricate mushrooms

a decade of botanical exploration


Minneapolis-based artist Ann Wood has spent the past decade crafting a botanical world entirely from paper. Her work includes a diverse array of flowers, food, insects, all intricately rendered in the delicate medium. But lately, Wood’s focus has shifted to a new subject — the world of fungi. Wood’s paper mushrooms are each crafted with a level of detail that would fool the most discerning eye. From the gills peeking out from under the caps to the plump stems with a hint of ‘soil’ clinging to the base, these papery fungi appear freshly picked from the forest floor.

ann wood paperimages © Ann Wood



ann wood captures ephemeral mushrooms


Artist Ann Wood’s journey with paper botanicals began over ten years ago. At first, she relied on photographs and botanical illustrations to understand the intricacies of her subjects. However, she soon began to examine physical plants. This hands-on approach became the cornerstone of her artistic process, allowing her to more authentically capture the essence of each specimen she creates.


The world of mushrooms presented a new artistic challenge for Wood. Unlike the more permanent plant life she previously explored, mushrooms have a fleeting existence. ‘I capture the ethereal quality of things that appear in the natural world, but disappear very quickly,’ she says. ‘Mushrooms have that quality, a magic that is particular to their ethereal form.’ Since the creation process for each piece takes a week or so, Wood has to take some artistic liberties with color and texture. Yet, despite these minor deviations, her commitment to realism remains unwavering. ‘Nature has endless possibilities of things to create. I feel like I will never run out of subject matter to explore.’

ann wood paper
artist Ann Wood crafts stunningly realistic mushrooms entirely from paper



rendering a variety of textures from paper


Her focus on capturing the essence of a specific specimen extends to the techniques she employs. To create the smooth, almost porcelain-like surfaces of certain mushrooms, Wood uses layers of white glue. ‘I’m always looking for techniques to make paper appear like the real thing,’ Wood explains. ‘Lately I’ve been excited about using layers of white glue to create a porcelain surface. Many mushrooms have a very smooth, almost cool looking surface.’ For those species showing a fuzzy texture, she has developed a method using a variety of papers, each painted to match the vibrant colors found in nature.


I’m also fascinated by mushrooms that have almost a furry type surface,’ she continues. ‘I use a wide variety of papers and have found ways to create that fluffy quality. I use around fifteen different types of papers to make my pieces. I paint each one to match the colors of the real thing.’

ann wood paper
Wood’s decade of experience with paper botanicals informs her creations ann wood paper
from delicate gills to earthy stems, each piece renders intricate details from nature ann wood paper
Wood studies real mushrooms to ensure her paper fungi appear true-to-life


layered white glue creates a porcelain-like surface for some paper mushrooms

paper artist ann wood recreates a world of intricate mushrooms
Wood uses a variety of papers to capture the fuzzy textures found in nature


with endless inspiration from nature, Wood’s paper fungi collection continues to grow



project info:


artist: Ann Wood

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