Sunday, October 5, 2014

Early Illustrations For The Wobblers Encyclopedia Of Parasitic Fungi

Nomadic Fungi Institute
Published in 1956 at 6355 pages, the final edition of the Wobblers Encyclopedia of Parasitic Fungi is by far the most expansive treatise pertaining to all aspects of parasitic fungi. It is internationally recognized as the foremost resource for information pertaining to the world of parasitic fungi.

Nomadic Fungi Institute
The author, Mr. Rotifer H. Wobbler began compiling information while still a youth at the Laramie Middle School. From those early days he envisioned an encyclopedia that would encompass all aspects of parasitic fungi. He spent the majority of his life obsessively researching, saving, organizing, editing, drafting, and revising his encyclopedia.

Nomadic Fungi Institute
At one point the encyclopedia included a complete list of all known insect hosts of the fungus known as cordyceps. This list also included hundreds of illustrations. The publisher after calculating the staggering cost to print such a goliathan volume suggested that some editing was required, and that the list of insect hosts and associated illustrations should be the first things removed. Mr. Wobbler flatly refused which put the publishing of his encyclopedia on indefinite hold.

Nomadic Fungi Institute
Months later while at a cocktail party the hostess asked Mr. Wobbler just how many kinds of bugs there are in the world? He boosted that there are roughly 3 million, but new research in the canopies of the tropical rain forests suggests that the number could climb as high as 30 million. Then with a faraway look on his face he said "Stupid, stupid, idiot!" He turned around and left the party. Misunderstanding his last utterance the hostess took great offense and never invited Mr. Wobbler to any future social gatherings.
Nomadic Fungi Institute
Mr. Wobbler, upon reaching his home called his publisher and stated that a complete list of insect hosts was an impossibility and demanded that the list and associated illustrations be removed immediately. This first edit opened the doorway for additional revisions which twelve years later resulted in the publication we know today.

Nomadic Fungi Institute
As for the illustrations, it was thought that they were all destroyed when Mr. Wobbler's home burned down shortly after his disappearance. But apparently Mr. Wobbler gave his Aunt Monkey several shoe boxes full of illustrations. Aunt Monkey was not known to be fond of entomology, nor a collector of art, but she was obviously fond of Mr. Wobbler and keep the shoe boxes in a trunk where they were recently found by her granddaughter.

For more information on the Mr. Wobbler and the Wobblers Encyclopedia Of Parasitic Fungi please follow this LINK.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3D Printed Nomadic Fungus Hits The Streets

3d printing nomadic fungi
Sprouting from the back windshield of a 1978 Monte Carlo, this Nomadic Fungus is Batman black, with mouse ears and a large blunt lobster claw that reaches over the front hood in eager pursuit of it's next host. There's no doubt this muscle car can burn some rubber and lay down some serious spores.

nomadic fungus 3d print
This union of fungus and machine is the result of a collaboration between NFI and the 3d rapid prototyping company SculptCAD. It's a 3D resin print that stands 8"x 3"x 10" tall.

It will be on display at the Rapid 2014 conference in Detroit as part of the SculptCAD Rapid Artists program. Big thank you to SculptCAD for this opportunity and to their fantastic staff for all the help in getting this project done.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

3D Nomadic Fungus Ready For Printing Part 3

Nomadic Fungus
The Nomadic Fungi Institute has been working with SculptCAD on a 3D computer print of the NFI logo. This week, after some quality tweaking and back up support from the SculptCAD staff the NFI sculpture was sent to the printer.

Nomadic Fungi
The digital sculpture was printed in a semi opaque white plastic resin with overall dimensions about
8"x 3"x 10" tall. The NFI team sanded it smooth as seen in the photo above and applied the first of several coats of semigloss black lacquer .

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Generating a Computer Printed Nomadic Fungus Part 2

Nomadic Fungus 3d printing
As previously reported, the Nomadic Fungi Institute has been very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the SculptCAD Rapid Artists program. With the help of the staff at SculptCAD we are creating a sculptural print of the NFI logo.

Using the Freeform surface modeling software and the heavily dog eared copy of How to Generate a 3D Model manual, we spent the afternoon carving away bits and bites, slowly turning our digital potato into a 1978 Monte Carlo and then attaching a Nomadic Fungus to the back windshield. 

Nomadic Fungi sculpture
To help clearify the design, our friends at Studio Six Art Conservation created a small oil clay model, seen in the foreground. This really helped to visualize the digital construction of the 3D model.

Next week, we delve into technical tweaks such as shelling, sizing and refining the surface.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Collaboration On A 3D Print

Nomadic Fungus
It's a bit outside the Nomadic Fungi Institute's area of focus, but when offered the chance to transform the NFI logo into a computer printed sculpture we decided to jump at the chance.

The 3D sculpting company SculptCAD has been sponsoring the SculptCAD Rapid Artists program since 2010. Each year they collaborate with a handful of artists to create sculptures utilizing rapid prototyping and 3D printing.  Once printed and finished by the artist, the sculptures are exhibited at the national Rapid Conference.

Nomadic Fungi Institute
The first step in the process was to create a pile of drawings using old fashion pencil and paper. Our goal was to translate the NFI logo into a sculpture that is quickly readable and can be understood even by those who are not familiar with Nomadic Fungi.

Nomadic Fungus
The next step was to head down to the SculptCAD studio and dive into the world of 3D modeling. Fortunately the Freeform software is structured more like Photoshop and less like the number heavy AutoCAD programs, so within moments the computer screen was covered in melon balls and cheese doodles.

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Report Too Important To Miss

In the last report published by the Nomadic Fungi Institute A Little Unorthodox But Effectively Successful we announced a new and unexpected success.

This report also included an animated GIF which unfortunately cause many of the email updates to go directly into spam files. So NFI is sending this email out to let you know that something big is afoot.

To read the full report AND see the animated GIF click on this link A little Unorthodox, But Effectively Successful.

Dr. BF Smith

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Little Unorthodox But Effectively Successful

With the failure of the spore sprouting test on Lab Sample NF-2014-001 things have turned a bit gloomy around the Nomadic Fungi Institute. Then this morning the NFI archivist approached me with his head hung low, and I thought to myself Damn, he's going to resign. Just what I need, staff quitting just because one damn lab test didn't work out....

Not surprisingly he began the conversation with "I think you are going to be mad at me, but I have something to tell you."

Struggling to keep the growl out of my voice, I responded "Go ahead, I'm sure we can work something out." 

He stood there for a half second, then with a stutter he said "Well, when we were doing the lab work on the spore sample, I couldn't find any disinfectant to clean the tools with so I used kerosene from an old can I found out in the tool shed. And, well, afterwords I didn't want to pour the kerosene down the sink, so I put the bucket in the shed, next to the lawnmower. And, well, I don't know how it got in there, but when I went out to the tool shed today I found this in the bottom of the bucket, and, well..."

He held out a Matchbox Ford Gremlin covered in green and yellow carbuncles. My eyes did that cartoon bug out thing and I yelled "Eureka! We have sprouted spores!!!"