Wednesday, June 30, 2010

red fish blue fish

Back in the mid-1800's fisherman in Japan used Gyotaku to record their catches. I love idea of a functional need filled by an artistic end. We haven't caught anything from the murky waters of the marina, despite my little guy's best efforts, but the desire to ink up some sea critters is still there. So we got some rubber fish from Acorn Naturalists and made a big mess.
We scrounged up some old piece of plexiglass from around the marina to spread the ink on with a brayer. (My big mistake was using block printing ink when in the end we went crazy and started printing on cut up pieces of old bed sheets {also found in the marina. Our own personal flea market!} We should have used fabric ink. Whoops.)
We did it the way I am told the Japanese did it way back when, which is to apply the ink right on to the fish. You want to make sure you get all of the nooks and crannies. (You don't have to use a brayer, you can use a brush too.)
The we just pressed the little guy right on the paper or fabric, again making sure to apply pressure on all of his fins and such to get the whole fish printed.
Now we have a school of fish! The paper we'll save for wrapping.
The fabric (with the wrong ink on it) would make cute little flags or pillows or even a t-shirt. We'll have to try again with the proper fabric ink and take it to the next step by planning a project with the finished fish. Right now we just have little have schools of red and blue fish swimming randomly around the boat.
If any has done this before and has any more tips - pass them on in the comments.


Behan said...

We did made fish prints for our son's birthday party when he turned... I think it was 5? Not sure. Anyway, we actually had a gaggle of his little friends all FISHING off the boat... the ideas was to make prints with what we caught... well I had a few whole trout purchased at the market for backups, and we needed them! Working with "real" fish was fun, not so icky/stinky. We just used fabric paint sold in craft stores, not ink... the stuff that comes in little squirt bottles- and spread it with fingers before pressing the fish on the fabric. We all made t-shirts. I wish I still had the purple glitter fish our then-toddler made!

Joy said...

How fun! I can see a fountain of uses for that cute fishy print paper and cloth. Very cool!

Emily Cole said...

I took my Girl Scout troop to one of our wonderful NC Aquariums, and they made shirts just like this. They had the rubbery fishies, and painted them with fabric paint however they wanted - the girls were really creative! I loved the way the shirts turned out - so much fun!

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