Gyotaku- the art of fish printing
hatteras island, NC
During our annual girls’ camping trip to Hatteras Island, we usually do a craft project. We take turns teaching and this time it was Jill’s turn. She chose to teach Gyotaku, the perfect beach art project. Gyotaku is the traditional method of Japanese fish printing dating from the 1800s.
After a little bit of fun, teasing the girls who were not really into the idea of grabbing real, slimy fish and rubbing them on fresh t-shirts, Jill brought out the silicone fish printing kit.
Everyone brought out their shirts and we got started. We took turns rubbing various paint colors onto the fish and printing them onto our t-shirts. Some of the girls did single multi-color prints, while others chose to put entire schools of fish on their shirt.
We printed a few extra shirts for our tribal members who are currently on the other side of the world – sending a little love across the big water. We also got to enjoy the SuperMoon, knowing that those gals could see the same moon from their spot on the planet.
What we learned: A spritz of PAM cooking spray before adding paint made the silicone fish easier to clean. Let the fish soak in a bucket of water for a few minutes and then scrub gently. Laying the t-shirt on the sand made a nice firm printing surface and allowed more of the detail to print. Instead of a piece of cardboard in the shirt, put a trash bag inside to make sure the paint does not bleed thru to the back side.
What I loved: The finished shirts are super bright and happy. Everyone was really successful and went home with an awesome shirt! And… no fish were harmed in the printing process.