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Toledo artist shares her talents for fish and nature printing

Posted: Friday, Jan 11th, 2013

Artist Heather Fortner shows how she applies a soy-based ink to a fish prior to printing on rice paper. She recently opened Orchid Street Studio West in Toledo and is eager to share her passion for fish and nature printing at upcoming workshops. (Photos by Monique Cohen)

Toledo artist Heather Fortner is excited to share her passion for fish and nature printing through upcoming workshops at her studio.

Fortner first learned of gyotaku (“fish rubbing”) after seeing a print of a school of red fish hanging on a wall in Hawaii in the late ‘70s. She said it stopped her cold, and she embarked on her journey as a gyotaku artist.

“I never thought I was creative or artistic, and I found out that I am,” Fortner said. “I’m very creative, I just didn’t know it until I found gyotaku fish printing, and from there nature printing and all the related elements of nature printing.”

She found the Nature Printing Society, a group of like-minded people. Through the society, she has worked with Japanese master printer Mineo Yamamoto in the U.S. and Japan.

Fortner’s signature style is a fish print with either seaweeds or natural plants, on paper that she dyes to resemble sunlight streaming through the water.

For the complete article see the 01-11-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-11-2013 paper.

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