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Gyotaku

Become a Retailer of our Unique Nautical Products

By Art, Fishing, Gyotaku

If you are looking for those unique nautical artwork pieces for your store, you have come to the right place! We are the Go-To for all things unique and nautical. All of our products are made right here in the USA, off the beautiful coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Everything is handmade and eco-friendly, and also available for wholesale purchasing. We have wall art, tabletop items, and much more. You can view all of our products here: https://www.fishayetrading.com/. With a minimum order of $250 we can get you started today. We normally ship your items within 2 to 3 days of purchase. Normal profit is 50%!

Never heard of Gyotaku Fish Art? Fish Rubbing originated in the Orient back in the early 1800′s. It has been used to preserve records of fisherman’s catches. As time has moved on, people have found the prints to be visually pleasing. The Art of Gyotaku is a delicate and ever-changing art form. The potential to create new and different works increase with each new design. Each fish rubbing is unique. The set up can be changed in a variety of ways. We can use a broad range of prints or inks. The printing stock can vary from the gentlest rice paper to a much firmer canvas. The basic method remains relatively simple. Apply paint or ink to the actual fish and lay your paper or canvas on top of it. Then rub over the entire fish and gently peel the paper off to have a look at your new creation. It is also a wonderful way to stay close to the ocean and appreciate the beauty and variety of marine life. Also, it is said that it brings good luck to the fisherman. We are looking forward to showcasing our products in your store and helping to add to your profit in 2022!

If you are interested in starting a wholesale account with Fishaye Trading Company, please fill out our online form here: https://www.fishayetrading.com/contact/wholesale/. Once we have reviewed your information we will supply you with the next steps via email. Thanks for thinking about Fishaye for your shop!

John work on fish

Just what is Gyotaku Art, anyway?

By Gyotaku

Gyotaku art began in Japan in the mid-1800s. It is a method of printmaking using fish and other sea animals as printing plates. Translated literally, gyo means “fish” and taku means “rubbing.”  It was originally used by Japanese fisherman to record their catches. Fisherman actually carried ink and supplies with them on boats, so as to make a record of their freshly caught fish. The fish was then washed and eaten – a tradition that has led to the gyotaku three step motto: Catch It. Ink It. Eat It.

It is still used for that purpose today. If you were to visit tackle shops in Japan, you would find gyotaku hanging on the walls; however, over the years, it has become its own art form.

There are actually three different approaches to gyotaku in the modern world. The first or “direct” method, chokusetsu-hō, is the closest to the original method using sumi ink. The fish is cleaned, prepped, supported, then inked. Following that, an image is created by pressing washi paper (made from rice) to the fish and rubbing or pressing. Because, these prints are more to serve a purpose, such as recording the fisherman’s catch or settling on a winner in a fishing competition, they are often left in black and white with no coloration except gray-scale around the eyes.

The second approach, or “indirect” approach is for the more artistic and is called kansetsu-hō. In this method, the washi paper – or sometimes silk or other fabric – is adhered to the fish using rice paste. The ink is then applied to the surface delicately with applicators of silk wrapped around cotton. This approach is preferred by some artists, but is much more time consuming, resulting in very delicate and detailed images. Color is usually added to these images.

Thirdly, the “transfer” method, or tensha-hō, is used to create images on harder surfaces such as wood, leather or stone. The fish is prepped and inked as in the direct method and then carefully lifted by pressing a piece of nylon to the it. The nylon with the image is then pressed to a harder surface, thus “transferring” the image.

In Western Culture, gyotaku could be compared to what we would call “nature prints” where leaves and flowers were coated on both sides with ink and pressed to paper to make prints. Today, the direct method of gyotaku is used on a variety of subjects throughout the world.  Artists now have moved beyond fish and use other animals and plants as subjects as well as implementing different types of colors and surfaces.

At Fishaye Trading Co., artist and owner John F. Doherty has his own method of gyotaku. “I use the following method to make the image look as natural as can be,” he says. “First, I mix up paint or ink and then apply it directly on the fish. Next, I simply cover the fish with fine paper or fabric and gently rub.” To check out John’s work, click here. https://www.fishayetrading.com/