Tom Stock

Poet, Essayist, Photographer, Naturalist

How To Make a Fish Print

  • Obtain a whole fish from 6 – 10 inches
  • Either freeze the fish for later or make the print right away
  • Thaw the fish, lay it on newspaper, wipe the slime off with a paper towel
  • Newsprint pads come in small, medium and large. Decide on the size you need beforehand. Newsprint is very absorbent.
  • Buy a jar of soluble block printers ink from an art store
  • Using a one inch brush, take a small amount of ink and dilute it with just a few drops of water. Mix with the brush.
  • Spread the ink on the fish backwards to insure that it seeps under the scales. Make sure you prop up the dorsal fin using a crumpled piece of paper towel. Stuff crumpled paper town in the mouth
  • Apply a light coat of ink EXCEPT the eye. Fill in the eye later.
  • The first print is a test to see how to make adjustments in the ink solution. It may take several tries to learn the skill of inking
  • Do not put thick ink on the fish. It must be thinned.
  • Number each test print and keep making prints, and reapplying ink until you see that you’re getting the details of the fish. The head is bony and ink doesn’t seep in so less is better.
  • After the paper has been laid on the inked fish, gently touch the paper with one hand and with the other make sure the paper doesn’t move.
  • Eventually, using fingers and thumb, make sure the entire fish has been touched. Apply gentle pressure. Make sure you get the dorsal and tail fins.




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1 Comment

  1. Julie

    I enjoy your “How To” pages. It reminds me of the projects, activities and explorations we had around the house as children. I appreciate your interest in hand made objects. There is so much enjoyment to be had here. Thank you! The pictures are helpful too! I never realized that you had to staple the basket to a box before! The secret is revealed!

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