Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Gyotaku: The Japanese Art of Printing with Fish

Weekend Studio Arts Workshop

Saturday, September 11, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1V00SZ
Select Your Tickets
$75 - Member
$85 - Non-Member
Reserving your tickets...

Materials for this program

  1. Supply List

By Sue Fierston

NOTE: Registration will close for this program at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, September 10, 2021.

Delightful and detailed prints on paper can be made using real fish. Using direct printing and water-based printing inks, create realistic looking schools of fish or a single artistic print simply by inking a whole fish and pressing it to paper.

The result is a gyotaku, a term derived from the Japanese words for fish (gyo) and print (taku).  Before cameras, Japanese fishermen used this technique to document a big catch when they were out at sea: They applied sumi ink to a fish, pressed it to newspaper, and then rinsed the fish in the water so it could be eaten.

Discover the wonderful shapes and patterns of fish and create several 12-by-18-inch gyotaku. Learn how to paint realistic fish-eyes to bring your print to life and cut masks to create realistic compositions.

This class will be recorded.  Please see our FAQ for recording terms and conditions.

Other Information

  • The instructor is Sue Fierston.
  • 1 session, 3 hours
  • This studio arts program is a Zoom Meeting to allow for patron and instructor interaction.

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.