Original art and quality prints of real fish caught sustainably in Western Australia.
The art of fishing leaves an impression…
Fishing is so much more than just throwing a line in the water. It’s time with friends and family. It’s anticipation and excitement. It’s the colour when a fish bursts from the water, with chromed up flanks as the light hits its scales. It’s a fat, flaky slab of white flesh with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
Salty Bones was born from this love of fishing and the ocean. We use the ancient Japanese art of Gyotaku to capture all that entails, applying water-based inks to impress real fish onto traditional Japanese rice paper. Details are then added to the print, and the fish is washed, filleted and enjoyed.
What is Gyotaku?
You know how you used to make a pencil rubbing of a coin or a leaf when you were a kid? This is kind of like that, but way cooler.
Gyo means fish, and Taku means impression. So, literally, Gyotaku is using freshly caught fish to make ink impressions on paper.
Back when there were no cameras for fishermen to record their trophy catches, the Japanese came up with this unique printing method called Gyotaku. They would take paper, ink and brushes out to sea with them, then rub the fish they caught with non-toxic sumi-e ink and imprint them on rice paper. Most of the fish were cleaned and sold in markets afterward, but a few revered ones were released back into the ocean.
In the mid-1800s, fishermen began to add eye details and other embellishments, giving rise to a unique artform. Today Gyotaku has grown to capture other marine life, seaweed, leaves and plant material too. We’re not sure if coins also count.