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Since the summer of 2020,  making fish skin leather has become a primary focus for me; I am compelled by the sustainability of engaging with a natural resource, using it to its fullest. My immersion in fish leather processing has opened a new sense of collaborating with the land, rather than simply harvesting from it. Repurposing fish skins, a vastly discarded resource, as leather creates lasting beauty where there is otherwise waste.  Each fish skin boasts an intricate, beautiful pattern – preserved through the act of tanning.

As I push my work more towards the sculptural, the story behind the materials is a crucial element.  The choice to use fish leather becomes an entry point for dialogue, meant to provoke curiosity about its origin, emphasizing the value of fish as a sustainable resource.  Transforming fish skins into sculptural books signifies both the value of these beautiful creatures and in the gesture of a functional form – its’ unfinished story.

An avid fisher, I catch all the fish that I use in my work.  This particular Perch  was caught in the Lake of the Woods area of Northwestern Ontario.  I have tanned the skin using oak gall nut extract and then hand dyed it with fustic, which produced a rich ochre highlighting the perch’s beautiful scale pattern.  The pages have been dyed in the same dye bath and are sewn with linen thread directly to the fish using a modified long stitch binding method.

The flexible spine allows it to be displayed in a variety of positions.

PAPER TRAITS:  Strathmore 400 series drawing paper (80 lb/118 gsm).  This paper works well with graphite pencil, coloured pencil, pen and ink, marker, soft pastel, mixed media and oil pastel; perfect for all your writing and art ideas.  Each group of pages is wrapped in a cover of Himalayan lotka paper with dried plant inclusions.

10 x 4 x 2.5″

25 x 10 x 6.25cm

384 pages

Additional information

Weight .275 kg
Dimensions 16 × 16 × 16 cm
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