Wednesday, February 01, 2012
This is a gyotaku print of yellowtail flounder before it has been mounted to another sheet of paper.
Mounting gyotaku is rather like stretching watercolour paper but with rice or wheat paste adhering the 'sandwich' of the two sheets. Most gyotaku prints are mounted as the paper the fish is printed on is fairly fragile and needs the stability of another sheet.
The process is always a little daunting to me as I put paste all over the back of the print and layer and smooth it carefully onto another sheet. I don't know if I even breathe sometimes! I have a large plastic topped table that I paste on and tape the edges so as it dries it becomes taut and eliminates most wrinkles. Not everything is perfect always and that's just how it goes. Unlike watercolour, you've already done your creative piece before stretching, so it becomes a bit stressful. Even if things don't go quite as planned, results are usually good and of course practice makes perfect. Or at least acceptable.