31. May, 2019

Gyotaku

My husband is a keen fisherman and I remembered to ask him to keep me a kahawai so that I could have a go at gyotaku (direct fish printing. This is a japanese process from the 1800s where fishermen recorded their catch by direct printing. gyo mean fish and taku is rubbing so you can see where this is leading. This fish has to be dry to begin with and any mucus washed off with water and salt or water and vinegar. Then all the openings - gills, mouth etc need to be packed with tissue. Next I traced and cut out the shape of the fish on a sheet of styrofoam so I could sit the fish in the hollow so it would be stable for rubbing. I tucked baby wipes all round the fish so I didn't contaminate the styrofoam for subsequent prints. I pinned out the fins and left them to dry for a bit. I intended to do both a watercolour paper copy and some imprints onto fabric. I used acrylic paints on the paper and fabric paint on the fabric