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Blog series by Sodabowski updated 06-30-2017 12:31 PM 14 parts 67708 reads 130 comments total

Part 1: pictures of an early colonization by Chlorociboria aeruginascens

02-03-2011 01:33 AM by Sodabowski | 10 comments »

Hey guys, Having recently decided that I couldn’t continue refering to the blue-green stained wood as “stained by some mysterious fungi”, I dug out everything I could find on Google and ended up with a boatload of pictures and, most importantly, data and contacts. So I found out that Fine WoodWorking contributor S.Robinson actually works in the bio research field and haz specialized in the fungi that spalt or stain wood. Wait, did I just write “haz”? Em,...

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Part 2: hunting for Chlorociboria sp, take two: WIN.

02-27-2011 04:54 PM by Sodabowski | 4 comments »

Hey guys, So basically I had the chance to get back to my southern village a few days ago. Having some fine time to spend while my elbow was healing from an unfortunate accident at work, the first thing I did was to run into the woods to get to the previous Ca find spot. I can’t tell you how bad that thing was haunting me. Well, I didn’t get to measure things as I wanted to (next time!), and instead I merely kicked down all the trunks from a dead stump (not sure it’s t...

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Part 3: First culture attempts update, and eye candy.

04-21-2011 11:06 PM by Sodabowski | 9 comments »

Hey guys, Just for a quick update. The cultures I attempted last time did actually work to some degree. Something grew inside the agar mix :pNo stain from the Ca culture yet and I don’t really expect any to happen. I also grew the accompanying yellow fungus, which actually develops rather agressively into the culture medium. Certainly a big white rot fungus there, Fomes Fomentarius probably, knowing that it was on the tree I took the infested bark from. For the next mushy hunting ...

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Part 4: Second culture attempts

05-18-2011 11:17 PM by Sodabowski | 13 comments »

So the admin of a french mycology website sent me several fresh pieces of Salix with lots of fruiting bodies of Chlorociboria Aeruginosa two days ago (he was also kind enough to test them for variety with his microscope, so this is an accurate naming) and I received them today, along with a little card with the nicest words written on it. AND I received my petri dishes at the very same time. Talk about timing! So I immediately set myself into “bio geek mode” and prepared an aga...

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Part 5: Second attempt preliminary results: win

06-08-2011 11:50 AM by Sodabowski | 13 comments »

Hey guys, Out of the six compartments that I inoculated with Chlorociboria Aeruginosa in my petri dishes, one has absolutely settled and started growing and producing xylindein. Still I have to clean them every few days as the molds that invited themselves to the party are tough to fight, so I opted for the “gardening” method and just mow them out when they become too invasive. Using a lab culture medium would have prevented that from happening, but as I already stated in the p...

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Part 6: determining the temperature of destruction of xylindein

10-27-2011 02:17 PM by Sodabowski | 19 comments »

Hey guyzz, So little time these days with all the work at the university. But I finally settled for a while to build a wooden clamp for test tubes to make a first measurement of the temperature at which xylindein, the pigment produced by Chlorociboriae, permanently loses its color. As you all know, sanding wood leads to quite high temperatures at the surface, and I had previously noticed that xylindein was destroyed when bandsawing stained wood with a freakin’ dull blade from hell...

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Part 7: First (preliminary) determination of decay temperature of Xylindein

10-28-2011 02:25 AM by Sodabowski | 12 comments »

So here it is: the first attempt at determining the temperature at which the pigment produced by Chlorociboria vanishes. This is preliminary data (you never stress it enough!), furthermore testing will be needed to assess the exact way it happens within a seriously controlled setup. The pigment is stable up to 90°C, then it quickly starts to degrade. At around 110°C, half the pigment has lost its color. At 125°C, only 25% of the coloring remains. At 155°C, only 10% of the green is s...

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Part 8: fast-extracted xylindein

01-20-2012 01:15 AM by Sodabowski | 13 comments »

Hi guys, So in an effort to gear up my lab stuff, I recently bought a cheap peristaltic pump on ebay to help extract xylindein faster. Relying on gravity sure works, but it’s damn slow. So I filled up a funnel with xylindein-stained sawdust, connected the output to the pump, set the other end of the pump above the funnel for a closed-loop circuit of sorts, dropped enough acetone to soak all the sawdust, and fired the pump for a few minutes. Wow, I gotta tell you, this modus operandi ...

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Part 9: STM vs xylindein: STM WINS!

03-05-2012 11:35 PM by Sodabowski | 10 comments »

Hi guys. So, to sum it up, this is Chlorociboria, a.k.a. “the mean tiny hulk”: Making nice things to the wood it lives into (right) because of this pigment, the xylindein: Which response to light in the visible spectrum looks like this: And whose picture I was (almost certainly) the first to ever take with a Scanning Tunelling Microscope.Say hello to my little friend: Now how cool is that? :)

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Part 10: Predashun: I haz it

07-23-2012 10:51 PM by Sodabowski | 6 comments »

Or better yet: when the dreaded tree-killing mushroom from hell finds its own slayer. These chunks of mushroom flesh (completely dry) are from Fomes Fomentarius, the evil tinder conk, that loves birch to death, literally. Being a scientific mind in a demented body, I of course cut down a rather big Fomes fruiting body into chunks (secret project) and brought them back to Paris with me. Right now I’m sorting things out here, many will go back to the parents’ house, in my ...

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Part 11: Progress on the green elf cup's pigment

11-14-2014 12:09 AM by Sodabowski | 6 comments »

Hi Jocks, Working on and off on that fungus still. There’s been considerable progress on the US side since the team led by Dr Spalting nailed down the conditions into which Chlorociboria produces xylindein. Not that I didn’t send a hint or two ;) Since they did the huge work that was needed to understand how this fungus works and how to tame it, I’m the happy bunny who’s now tinkering with the pigment’s chemical part. Not that I’m a chemist, nananaw, ...

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Part 12: Essential reading: upcoming book from the scientific authority!

10-28-2015 08:54 PM by Sodabowski | 3 comments »

Quick update since I’m short on spare time these days with all the work at the university. After several years of hard work from a passionate team, here comes the first ever book covering all the aspects of spalted wood (including a few scientific bits from yours truly) spanning from science to art (Krenov, anyone?). You can order your copy (or your significant other’s, if you’re in the hunt for the perfect gift) here! 870 pictures spanning across 288 pages, “...

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Part 13: Pushing the studies on Chlorociboria to their ultimate goal

04-14-2016 08:50 PM by Sodabowski | 4 comments »

Hi guys, Quick update: I’m pursuing my internship at the C2RMF these days, and we’re having a blast preparing the experiments that will conclude all that I did before on the subject. We will experiment the interactions between Chlorociboria-stained wood and the finishes, the products used to remove the finishes (when past restorations occurred), and the new techniques and products that we will devise to get the color back and stabilize it on faded specimens (they were half-way ...

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Part 14: more study results

06-30-2017 12:31 PM by Sodabowski | 8 comments »

Hi all, Long time since the last installment. So, after using most of my time this year as a teacher, I finally managed to get back to the study with the folks at the C2RMF. Good and bad news : xylindein, the green stain produced by Chlorociboria, doesn’t really get on well with most finishes. When it’s still in its “raw” form, inside the mycelium of the fungus across the wood fibers, it’s less picky but still some finishes won’t do the cut and will f...

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