With everyone on lockdown, going stir crazy, worried, and looking for something positive to do, I am inviting all to participate in this rebirth of the Bind-O-Ramas, a regular feature here from 2004 until 2015. View the galleries from all on the Book Arts Web. Below a webinar introduction I recorded to help demystify.
Steps to getting started:
- Get some nice fresh fish. Skin it yourself, or ask at your better fish counter or sushi restaurant. Salmon is very forgiving. NO commercially tanned/prepared skins will be accepted. I can smell those a mile away, even if beautiful.
- Clean the skin and make parchment or tan some other way. ALWAYS use COLD water otherwise the skin turns gelatinous.
For more information. watch the video above, see "Fips" and His Eels: Fish Skin in Bookbinding in Book Arts arts du livre Canada (Vol 10., Nr. 2, 2019), and under the “fish leather” tag at the Pressbengel Project blog (23 posts worth at this point). My bindings using fish parchment (and commercial leathers) can be found among my other work here.
- When done, use as the primary material on a binding (not just for onlays…), a box, other objet d’art. "Limp" structures are great - parchment is parchment.
Complete the entry form below. You'll also need to upload 1 skin preparation image, 1 of the finished product, and a detail of either. Images should be taken with good lighting, a neutralish background, in focus, and sent at full size (not reduced). Name files with your name and number..., e.g. verheyen1.jpg, verheyen2.jpg, verheyen3.jpg.
In the form you'll be asked to provide name, where you are, species of fish, technique to prepare, impressions, a description of your finished book or object, and a few sentences about yourself.
After submitting the form, email images to email@example.com. Alternatively, request a link to upload to my Google Drive.
Click here to enter the Fish Skin Bind-o-Rama, and to be like "Fips.
|"Fips" and his Eels|
I can't wait to see all the entries. Thank you to all those who have been sharing their experiences on social media and elsewhere.
So, what do you all say. Let's have some fun! Questions, just ask.
Also, check out Amber Sandy's Instagram feed where she has several wonderful posts about tanning fish (among other species). She's in the Toronto area and would be happy to give workshops. Janey Chang in Vancouver has also been offering terrific online tanning workshops. (CBBAG, are you listening 😀 )
|Fritz Otto with a box he made from salmon parchment.|
Samples of various parchments made from fish.
A sampler of all the fish I've made parchment from.
From top: mackerel, sea bass, lane snapper, haddock, Arctic char, Atlantic salmon.
Underbellies are lighter than tops.
Note: except for the mackerel, the skins are highly translucent.