Mycelium forms doubts

Hello! I’m new to the group and I was hoping I could get some help with some doubts! I would very much appreciate it!

I’m making some mycelium lamps, and the struggle with contamination is real!

My first question is an autoclave worth it to sterilize? I have been using a pressure cooker with loose substrate in water, cooking for about two hours.

My second questions is after mixing the substrate with the mycelium spawn, do you grow it in a bag first and then into the mold once it has grown? or directly into the mold from the start, I have been trying to research the best methods but I get a bit confused and there is not much info out there. I have been putting the inoculated substrate directly in the mold, but my mold is a double mold and I wonder if this is making it harder to not get contamination.

And my third question is should I make a tiny hole at the bottom of the mold? just wondering if it needs

more air in the bottom or will this dry it out?

Thank you!

Hello! These are pretty nice works.
How do you reach that the lamp (cover) is so white? I’ve been trying to grow mycelium shapes as well, but can never reach this beautiful colour:(
In regards to your questions, yes, I autoclave everything - I have experience of not using autoclave, and after some time there was the mold on the pot. And yes, I first mix the substrate with mycelium spawn, for about 5 days, and only then mold on the shape (pot in my case)