Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


Welcome to my blog.
This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Thursday, 18 April 2013


                                         Perch printed on silk using a replica of a fish.
                                         details here

 Gyotaku is  traditional Japanese fish printing that dates back to the 1800s.
(Japanese 魚拓, from gyo "fish" + taku "rubbing") 

Maybe it started as a way for fishermen to record a trophy catch and later became an art form.
I used a replica of a perch, I don't think these are available in the UK but if you are in the US they can be bought from Blick's, click here
I was kindly given a set of these by Tina, another blogger who writes In the studio On the Shore
creating paintings of the British and American coasts.
The replicas are made of rubber and are shown below.

I had experimented with these before using a metallic Lumiere on painted silk. Shown above)(
I used a brush to apply the Lumiere and didn't get much of the fine detail coming through.
This time I used Schminke printing ink and and a roller.
I tried it on some Japanese printing paper but it was a bit thick for shaping round the fish. I tried some acid free tissue and some lightweight silk and both worked well.