Sunday, 17 May 2015

Something Totally Different


Tanned Fish Skins
I have started to volunteer at a skill-sharing place in a nearby town, I have only been once, so can't talk much about it just yet.

The current workshops are so completely different, very few people have heard about it - before I tried it, I had no idea either!

We are preparing fish skins ready for tanning into leather - how unusual is that?

Scales Being Removed
It is a much more eco-friendly alternative to crocodile or snake skin, but looks and feels very similar.

The process is fascinating, we are using Scottish salmon fish skins, they have to have the scales removed, which I thought was a shame because the iridescence is quite eye-catching, but they have to go.  The pattern of the scales is still seen on the skin after tanning. The tanning process involves a lot of washing in different levels of tanning agent and oil is involved at some point, but I haven't got that far yet.

Anyway, did you know that the idea for sequins came from fish scales?


12 comments:

Jessica P said...

WOW! Sequins! Fish Scales!

Does the fish skin leather smell?

Rolina said...

No Jessica, once they are tanned, they don't smell. They do during the preparation process though!

Nancy Chan said...

I totally have no idea that fish skin can be tanned. Very interesting post!

Chris Lally said...

Have you been thinking, "How can I incorporate this into my art?" I guess I was wondering if you would do that. Skill sharing - what a fantastic idea!! People do such amazing, creative things! Can't wait for the next class, Rolina.

Rolina said...

Nancy - I agree, it was a total revelation to me too!

Rolina said...

Chris, you read my mind - I have been pondering the idea of using it in my art!

Linda said...

Hi Rolina,

I learned something new today. I had no idea that sequins came from fish scales!

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

very neat :)

if someone has a fish allergy could they still use it once finished tanning?? (I don't, but would be good to know anyway)

April Rimpo said...

It will be fascinating to see where you take this new skill. Fish scales inspiring sequins! Who knew.

Rolina said...

Thanks Linda, it is great to share new stuff, isn't it?

Jennifer, I don't know if it would be safe if someone had a fish allergy, but I wouldn't risk it!

Mellowood Gallery said...

Wonderful. I love the idea of a skill-sharing group- Even if you never use many of the skills you learn about. I figure many of the things one learns can be modified to be used in your art.
Have fun

Win Dinn said...

That's fascinating, Rolina, and I LOVE the concept of skill sharing!