Have your print and eat it, too


Last night I worked on fish prints!

Yes. Fishy fishy fish prints.

If you can get over your revulsion for handling dead fish, you can make some gorgeous prints.

Fish printing, or gyotaku, originated in Japan in the mid 1800’s when fisherman wanted to record their catches. Since then, it has evolved into its own art form.

If you are a tactile person who loves graphic nature prints, then this is the DIY for you.fish.prints.8

You will need:

Paint Brush

India Ink (not toxic, if you want to eat your fish afterwards!)

Paper (Preferably thin washi paper, but you can use any kind)

Dead fish

Paper Towels

Paper Bags/Trash Bags

Step 1: Cover the surface you will be working on with your paper bags or trash bags.fish.prints

Step 2: Take your fish (which should be gutted) and stuff it with paper towels so it won’t ooze. Gross I know.


Step 3: Place you fish on your work surface. Using your paint brush, apply a thin layer of ink to your entire fish. For a cool effect, don’t paint over the eye. You only need a very thin layer, you want to be able to see the texture of the fish scales. No globs.fish.prints.3

Step 4: Press your washi paper onto your fish. Press firmly and pat and give your fish a little fish massage, making the ink soak through.fish.prints.5

Step 5: Lift a corner and peek. If your print is too light, massage your fish a little more. Be sure to press the paper around the edges of the fish.fish.prints.7

Step 6: Lift paper and enjoy your fish print!

What I really want to know is which of you will be brave enough to cook your fish afterwards.  Send me a pic of your print and your meal!


Rachel Eleanor

Listening to: Tam Lin by Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer


One thought on “Have your print and eat it, too

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