Gyotaku Prints at River Cottage


Laura Howarth started doing these prints at an ‘Off Road Collagraph’ course at Spike Print Studio run by Ashley Thomas.

He mentioned that he had done fish prints before (only once I think) and I brought in a Brill and he showed me ‘the ropes’. I then went on to produce quite a few more and approached River Cottage who liked the idea of a residency and the rest is history!”

River Cottage Canteen will be hosting a private viewing of its resident artist Laura Howarth’s stunning Gyotaku prints on Thursday 17 September between 5-7pm.

Laura Howarth’s latest art work is created using an ancient Japanese technique, Gyotaku, that fisherman used as a way of capturing a memento of their catch. The fish prints are currently on display throughout the restaurant and feature a variety of fish, including River Cottage favourite mackerel.


The private viewing will give those attending a chance to meet the artist, whilst enjoying River Cottage nibbles and drinks in the relaxed atmosphere of the restaurant bar. Those wishing to stay on for dinner can book a table in advance when registering their interest to attend the private viewing, by emailing

Brill (Yellow)w

Laura Howarth explains a little more about her inspiration for the Gyotaku prints:

“I have always loved looking at fish, especially when beautifully laid out in street markets, with their individual markings, varied textures and their silvery sheen reflecting the light and the sea. They possess delicacy and great strength, and they inhabit a world which is both inviting and dangerous. They now of course face many man-made dangers to their sustainability.


When I first saw a Gyotaku print I was inspired to learn this technique to capture the delicate textural qualities of fish and sea creatures and to preserve their images for others to enjoy.”


Laura is a Bristol-based painter and printmaker originally from Seattle, Washington, on the west coast of the U.S.A.

Following her study at Fairhaven College and Western Washington State University she held art teaching posts in London, Bristol and Grantham and now works full time as an artist in her own studio and at Spike Print Studio. Laura works in a variety of different media including oil paint, printmaking, collage and relief work in paper. She is particularly interested in surface, whether decorative, marked by weather and natural processes or created by the application of different materials and techniques, and takes inspiration mainly from landscape and organic forms. Experimentation with a wide variety of approaches and materials has allowed her to exploit the element of chance and accident in her work and to let the process influence the way the work evolves. An Artist Member of the RWA, Laura’s work has been included in two recent RWA Annual Autumn Exhibitions. She is a member of Spike Print in Bristol and has exhibited in galleries in Bristol, Bath and the South West. Her work can be seen online at: