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I learned about gyotaku recently at a street fair in Somerville, Mass, where someone had a stall selling gyotaku pieces. It’s basically making a print directly from some sort of sea life you ostensibly caught, to keep as a trophy. If I caught a squid while fishing (probability of that is nigh zero considering it’s been, oh, twenty-ish years since I’ve fished, and even then, I’d have to have caught one of those elusive freshwater squids), I would give this a try. Also, it’s unlikely I’ll give it a try with store-bought fish or mollusks, I must admit, because it’s hard for me to reconcile not eating animals with buying them for fun art projects. In any case, I sure appreciate the outcome. I may be biased, but I think the mollusks are more evocative than the fish for the purposes of this art form. The following are all details from pieces gyotaku artist Nancy Gorr had on display at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores in 2009. Stunning.

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