Gyotaku Impression taken from the surface of Pacific Oyster Shells
The Pacific Oyster is a commonly farmed oyster here in the UK. These shells come from an oyster farm about 7 miles from my studio. Based in the waters of the Menai Strait, Sean and his family farm oysters in this tidal water and they are very popular during the summer here on the Island of Anglesey.
Printing from shell is pretty technical as the hard surface can often break the paper as it's pressed over the surface. To print multiple shells is also quite difficult as lining the paper up so you don't overlap the shells takes a bit of working out. After you have pressed multiple shells against the surface of the paper, the paper is very wrinkled. In order to be suitable for framing, it needs to be flattened. I use the Urauchi method to do this. The print is placed face down on a flat board. I make a simple paste from flour and water which I paste using Yaumoto Goat Hair brush. This is a wide brush and it helps to take all the creases and air bubbles out of the paper as it's pasted to a flat board. One the print is flat, a second sheet of paper is rolled out and stuck down to the back using a Shuro brush. When the two sheets are flat and pressed together, they are left to dry overnight.
This print measures 69cm x 34cm and is printed on Chinese Mulberry paper. I've used high quality, light fast, permanent ink.
The frame is ready to mount and can either be taken to your high street framer, or alternatively you can buy a frame online. The frame will be supplied rolled in a poster tube protected by PH neutral tissue paper.
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