Menai Strait Lobster, Gyotaku Printed in Blue, Green and Gold ink
This lobster was caught in a pot by a local fisherman here in North Wales. It was caught in the Menai Stait.
Lobster are a challenge to print as they are so 3 dimensional. Its very tricky printing the legs and their antenna. This lobster is printed on Chinese mulberry paper measuring 69.5x34cm. I’ve used a high quality screen printing ink that is both light fast and permanent. Each print I make is unique as I apply fresh ink before each print is taken and all prints are hand pressed.
Printing is just the first part of the process. After printing, the paper is cockled and wouldn’t lay flat in a frame. To achieve a flat print I use the traditional wet mounting process that has been used in the east for centuries. This process takes 24hours. The name for this process is Urauchi and it literally means to glue on backing. The print is laid on a flat board face down and then a thin glue of flour and water which I make myself is applied to the back of the print. I then roll out a backing paper; the first backing paper I use is a Chinese Mulberry paper, it’s a good colour match for the print. I then cut this at 2cm all the way around the print and then add the final backing paper. Here I used Japanese Masa paper and press it firmly to the print. The three sheets are then left to dry and bond together creating a beautifully flat print. The reason for adding the second sheet of paper is that this lobster is pretty big and so prints quite close to the edge of the printing paper. The second sheet just allows it to be framed with a bit more space around the lobster.
When it is flattened, I sign the print and stamp it with my Hanko.
The print is unique no two prints are ever the same.
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