Fish Rubbers

Fish rubbing or Gyotaku is a printing technique invented by Japanese fishermen in the early nineteenth century to record the size of their catch. By inking the fish and printing it onto fine Japanese paper, the intricate markings and texture of the fish can be captured forever.

Fish Printing Gyotaku Prints
Rosie Red Snapper by Fred Fisher
Fish Printing Gyotaku Prints Fishprinter
Print by Fishprinter
Fish Printing Gyotaku Prints
Photo © Julia Forsyth
Fish Printing Gyotaku Prints
Print by Dwight Hwang. Find more by fishingforgyotaku on binstagram or his on website.

As for that age old question how to rub a fish?

We use edible squid ink to create our prints. This means that you can both print your fish and eat it.

We are Sam Curtis and Eleanor Morgan, two artists with a shared interest in fish. We have run public fish rubbing workshops at the Ikon GalleryDivision of LabourSluice Art Fair , the Grant Museum of Zoology and the Institute of Making at UCL. This project has been commissioned as part of the Artquest Artists’ Fund.

Sam is an artist, educator and curator based in London and founder of the Centre for Innovative and Radical Fishmongery. Eleanor is an artist and writer interested in making across species. Her book on the human uses of spider silk is published by Strange Attractor Press.

Sam Curtis and Eleanor Morgan Fish Printing Gyotaku Prints
How to rub a fish? Artists Sam Curtis and Eleanor Morgan explain. Radical Fishmongers and Gossamer Days.
Fish Printing Gyotaku Prints
Fish Printing Gyotaku Prints
Photos: (Wack colour job by yours truly)