Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fish Printing

You should have seen the look on my Mama's face when I told her about our latest activity/art work... fish printing.  Weirded out... appalled... confused, maybe it was just a mixture of all three of those.
We're crazy into fishing and all things fish related (remember my post last week?).  Somehow I'd forgotten about fish printing in all this fish frenzy.  But back in our college days Whit & I were introduced to fish printing in one of our practicums or classes or something... and she recently reminded me.

Here's the idea.  If you catch a fish to keep and eat (or if you buy a whole fish at the fish market for dinner) you've got a great opportunity for an artistic/scientific project.

It's very simple.  Paint the fish (using non-toxic washable tempera paints) then lay a piece of paper or material on the fish to get it's impression.  After you're finished wash the paint from the fish and prepare it for your meal.
Here's Snoopy with a large bluegill he recently caught.  You can do several prints with one fish.  We tried printing on paper, cotton & canvas.  The canvas print worked best.  Paper is problematic because it's harder to press around the fish to get a complete print.  Another important tip * don't spread the paint too thick, you just need a very light coating of paint.
After it dried I pressed the canvas (using a pressing cloth & no water or steam to avoid damaging the print).  We then found an empty frame that was sitting around the house & we framed it!
 We hung it right next to Snoopy's bed.  Now he can look at the fish he caught any time.
I think it's really cool!  It looks like a fossil.  We didn't use a book with this activity but I think Swimmy by Leo Lionni would be the perfect book to use.  My copy of that book even has a section about printing (potato stamping actually) on the end pages.  His illustrations are filled with different printing techniques.

Is this too strange?  My Mom thinks so.  Just wait, tomorrow's all about catching night crawlers.
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PS This post is linked up to the Kids Co-Op.

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