I'm hoping somebody can help me find a material that can be used to preserve mushrooms in a lifelike state.
My vision is to encase mushroom specimens in clear plastic cubes for use in classrooms and natural history museums. I want the specimens to look just like live mushrooms growing in the woods.
Mushrooms are about 90% water, so the first step will be to thoroughly dry the specimens.
Drying causes mushrooms to shrink and become wrinkled, so the second required step would be to 'rehydrate' the specimens with a preserving liquid that will puff them back up. The ideal material for this step will readily wick into the mushroom tissue and subsequently harden, preserving the shape and color of the specimen. I don't know if such a material exists, so this is where I could use some help.
Finally, the preserved specimens can be placed in Lucite or a similar material to protect them forever.
I'll be most grateful for any ideas on a material that could satisfy the requirements of step 2. Today I've been thinking about something based on cyanoacrylate, but that is just a random thought.
Thank you for having a look. All responses are appreciated.