To coincide with the Salmon spawning times Rachel Ramirez an artist who specialises in Gyotaku printing, which is direct printing from the fish’s body itself, came to Hexham to demonstrate her technique at workshops. I attended the one on 25th October 2016 at the National park HQ. Before we printed anything Rachel explained the techniques of the printing method which firstly involves dealing with the leaking body fluids of the fish. Once the body is dried and the eye masked, she applied water based printing ink with a foam roller. Japanese paper, or newsiest was placed over the fish and by gently rubbing with fingers a print is taken.
I managed to print from the real fish and we also had feathers, silicon casts of fish, and shells to print from all of which worked well. This interested me as I had been thinking about making prints from trees, so I read through the nature printing web site and will give it a go. It would be a very easy workshop to offer to children, as leaves, feathers and shells worked really well.