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 they sit side by side takes practice. 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 is mounted in a mount with an A4 aperture and an outside measurement of approx 40cmx50cm. It is printed on Chinese Mulberry paper. I've used high quality, light fast, permanent ink.
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