When I did gyotaku with my students last year, I ordered the rubber
molds from Sax. I had enough for six tables in my art room and the kids
took turns going to whatever table they wished.
The kids covered the tables in newspaper and were very good about
changing the paper or adding new paper frequently, so they would not
mess up their print paper with inky fingerprints or blots. I used soda
boxes, the kind the delivery person leaves in the staff lounge, in which
to ink the molds. I used tempera paint. I started out with printer's
ink and it was not liquid enough when the children tried to use the foam
brayers to apply it. Some used foam brushes.
I demonstrated with each class, even kinders. All the classes loved
doing them. I gave the history of gyotaku and the boys thought it was
cool that samurai warriors were trained to record the fish they caught.
I had on hand a beautiful book loaned to me by our own Ann-on-y-mous,
which was filled with different objects from nature used to make gyotaku
prints and haiku poetry accompanying each print. Many of the prints
went home as presents.
We spent the entire 9 weeks touring Japan, complete with tea
ceremony...well, the best the third graders and I could manage. The
principal's curiosity got the best of her and she had to come in the art
room to find out why there were so many pairs of sneakers outside the
art room door!
If you want more Japanese ideas, e-mail me privately and I will try and
dig up the list. Oh, lordy, all these promises. I hope I can get them
all met before school is out next year!!!!!
> Does anyone know any tips for Gyotaku fish printing?