Friday, August 26, 2011


last month i was trying to brainstorm ideas for activities that would allow us to explore our new city, and keep things on a budget.

it is definitely easy to dine at restaurants, go to exhibits, the movies, and concerts, and feel like you are getting involved in 'the scene'. but with a little bit of effort and research, there are tons of interesting activities that can be done that are just as exciting as anything that you would spend tons of money to do! (do i sound like i am on a tourist board? ha!)

i came across the beaty biodiversity museum from a blog that i had stumbled on.
i searched their website and found a free (by donation) lecture and workshop for gyotaku with a master fishprinter.

gyotaku is a traditional japanese method of fish-printing. from the lecture, we learned that it is a valued art, because it is both artistic and scientific! fish-printers are able to print fish & various animals, after they have died, but before they are turned over to scientists for research. the prints turn out visually appealing with fantastic colours, and a way for those fish to be recorded accurately in scale (pardon the pun :)) and shape.

in the workshop, we were each allowed to print our own scallop shell. we rubbed a bit of rice glue over the surface of the shell, then laid an extremely thin white silk square overtop. we then used silk covered, cotton balls (on a stick) to dab paint onto the silk, and the shape of the shell began to show through.

in between the lecture and workshop, we were able to explore the biodiversity museum, and it was AMAZING! my favourite feature was the sampling of feathers from different bird species. oh, and i couldn't help but think of pumba as we passed by that warthog!

it was such a fun, quirky way to spend an evening! we are so glad that we tried something new, and now we have our own fish-prints to frame and hang on the wall!

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