There are just some fish/specimens that, if you are a Gyotaku printer you just really want to do. For me, John Dory has long been on my list. They are such characterful fish.
I picked up this specimen at one of our localish fishmongers. Mermaid Seafood in Llandudno have supplied many local restaurants with seafood for a good long while. In addition they have a fish counter in store and also have vans that deliver across the Anglesey, Gwynedd regions.
This is a Cornish John Dory from the south of England. Sadly there are is very little fin fish activity in our area. I can easily get line caught sea bass in season and local fishing enthusiasts will bring me pollock, prawn and the mackerel but sometimes it's just nice to try printing something different.
This was challenging for a few reasons. Firstly it had been gutted so one side was a no go as it had a slice in it! Secondly with no guts, the belly area just dips down and therefore needs to be stuffed. Not a job I particularly enjoy and getting it nicely stuffed so it's not all lumpy is also not easy.
Then there is those incredible fins. It's a challenge to get them laid out. Sadly these were not completely in tact but it was pretty good.
So I got set up, got the ink out, a pile of paper prepped and ready to go, cleared some space to dry the prints in and started inking up. What I hadn't calculated on having to deal with where the spikes around the body.
They are almost translucent, so very difficult to see but blimey they made printing difficult.
You can see on the finished flattened print the difficulty I had with them. They create a sort of border around the fins at the rear of the fish. Not only that but they pierced the paper. Thankfully with the wet mounting technique this doesn't matter too much as the wet mounting repairs the holes.
Overall I'm really happy with the prints I got from this John Dory. The dorsal fin was a little torn but I think I made the best of it. It's still made a great print.
After encountering those razor sharp spikes, I decided to ask Google what it's predators are. No surprises really, it doesn't have many mainly sharks!
I'm sure these will be popular prints, they are going to make great framed art work for coastal and city homes alike.