Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fish Printing Day!

Today was a fish printing day! Brian and I collaborate on creating fish prints using a Japanese technique called Gyotaku, which translates to "fish rubbing". Today was especially exciting because we used some salt water fish species we had never used before. Brian asked a local pet store that sells aquarium fish to save any good sized fish for us that die, so today we tried a few of them out.

This is a tang (we think) that Brian prepped. As you can see, prepping entails removing the eye and pinning out the fins, among other things. The basic tools of the trade are simply paint, a sponge for applying the paint, a fish, and something flexible to print on.

For the print below, some fabric was laid over the fish above and then gently rubbed. Rubbing transfers the paint from the fish to the fabric.
Here's Brian printing a Bluegill:
The eyes and our signature chop are painted on afterward. Our square chop means "Water, Art, and Life". Our circular chop is our stylized initials.

Besides printing on t-shirts, we also print on rice paper. And today, we tried something new -- printing on muslin to create small table cloths and handkerchiefs.
When we print on cloth, we use fabric paint that is heat set with an iron to make it permanent.

Tomorrow, I plan to batik and dye some of the fish prints that were printed on fabric, so stay tuned for updated photos!

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