About Us and How We Got Started
My husband Jim came home one day after a day at sea with a basket full of fish and the invitation to make fish prints. He introduced the wonderful world of gyotaku,(japanese for fish rubbing), with a squid, a well of fountain pen ink and some paper. He rinsed and dried the squid, painted on the ink with a hardware store variety chinese bristle brush, placed a piece of paper over it, and rubbed it with his hands. The image revealed when he peeled off the paper was inspiring.
And so began our journey into the world of fish printing. The japanese named and used this method to record their catch before the advent of photography. But direct printing has been around forever with hand prints on cave walls being one early example.The greater category of nature printing includes plant , leaf and flower rubbings, insects, even animal prints. Manmade objects such as gravestones and manhole covers are often rubbed, too, for their designs.
For the most part we choose to use water-based non-toxic inks and paints because we love to eat the fish we catch. Jim is a great cook and is constantly refining and experimenting with recipes. He is presently at work on a cookbook. We are always testing and playing with different inks, paints and fabrics. And naturally we are always in search of new species. Last year we went to the West Indies. This year we are thinking about going to Brasil or Vietnam.
We invite you to frequently revisit our online gallery and to attend any one of our shows . Seeing the prints in person gives one the chance to examine these rubbings up close where the qualities of each fabric and the subtleties of each print can be fully enjoyed. Each print is a signed one-of-a-kind original rubbing. While more than one print can be pulled from each fish no two prints are exactly alike. We offer our rubbings framed and unframed. We also make objects such as surfboards incorporating original prints in the design.
Jim has been a fisherman and waterman all his life. He has been in on and around oceans all his life as a surfer, lobsterman, commercial fisherman and as a man who just loves the sea. I grew up on the north shore of Long Island fishing in Manhasset Bay everyday.