The Fish Bridge to Japan Project – Gyotaku printmaking

What do you know about natural science printmaking? Not much? Me either, until just recently!
Through the Guild of Natural Science illustrators (GNSI) I learned about a project that one of the GNSI members, Stephen Di Cerbo, is working to get funded through Kickstarter called The Fish Bridge to Japan. Stephen has been developing his technique in Gyotaku printmaking for over 20 years and is hoping to travel to Japan to study under the tutelage of master Gyotaku printmaker Mineo Yamamoto.

As described on Stephen’s blog, Icthyography, Gyotaku is “a relatively new art form [that] came to America in the 1950s and its history can be traced back a couple hundred years. Used to identify species of fish and record size of catches, gyotaku is often seen as a parallel to Taxidermy. It has evolved into an art form and unique type of illustration, and techniques and methodology continue to be refined today. A form of relief printmaking, it allows for an intimate familiarity with the morphology of the fish.

Not only are Gyotaku images popular in gallery art and editorial illustration, the process is a great tool for art and science educators to expose students to ichthyologic identification and morphology, as well as relief printing.”

How cool does that sound?

I have been a member of GNSI since 1998 and am continually in awe of the very talented artists and illustrators who are a part of this group. I am going to contribute to the fund and hope to encourage others to do so if you are so inspired! 
Pledges start at just $1.00 and Stephen is offering pledge rewards to those who back his project including note cards, limited edition prints and more – check out the project details at The Fish Bridge to Japan. He only has until May 31st at 12pm EDT to reach his pledge goal.
Even if you don’t want to pledge, click on over and take a look to learn more about this fascinating art form!

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