I'm excited to write about a Japanese art form called "gyotaku" (pronounced ghee-oh-tah-koo).
Deciphering the word, we find that gyo means 'fish', and taku means 'rubbing' or 'impression'.
This type of fish art has its roots as far back as the mid 1800's,
when fishermen from Japan used it to record the types and sizes of fish they caught.
Gyotaku was introduced to me by Michael Reimer, an artist whom I met earlier this year
while he was displaying his work at the Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair in Philadelphia.
I had featured his art, among that of other artists, in a post I did about the Fair, which can be seen here.
I knew that I wanted to explore gyotaku further and share more of it with you on the blog.
Michael is an ardent fisherman, and is extremely fortunate to be able to
combine that passion with his creative talents to produce fabulous, artistic results!
I can relate to his love of fishing, extraneously, that is, through my husband and two sons.
They've fished many of the same PA rivers and streams, including the Delaware and the Schuylkill.
Michael keeps an online log of his fishing adventures, which you can check out here.
Direct transfer is Michael's printing method of choice.
He covers the fish with ink, places a sheet of rice paper on top, then rubs the paper to imprint the image.
He experiments with different types of papers, and even hand-dyes his own.
You can read about this fascinating process, and see much more of his art on his website,
Images used with permission from Michael Reimer.