Recent Western preference for functional wooden objects has promoted an ideal of clear, smooth, straight-grained lumber. However, wood does not need to be free of defects to be functional. This paper explores the relationship between decay and functionality in terms of parergonal aesthetics by presenting the use of fungi to alter surface texture and color on wooden bowls. In addition, the bowls' altered but functional state forces the viewer to reconsider modern views on the role of defect-free wood within a functional context.

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