It’s Friday Again, So Have Some More Fish

October 2nd, 2015

There’s a lot of interesting information on the symbolism of fish on this link, so read and enjoy some of the fishy symbols I hadn’t known of.   I was particularly taken with this one –Pagan traditions recognized the fish as a feminine symbol of fertility and an attribute of the Goddess. Water is a natural emblem of the flow of the Divine Mother principal, and as such, all creatures of the water (including fish) are aspects of the fertility and power of the female deity.”

fish brooch

I’m listening to lectures in a recorded course from  entitled “Human Prehistory and The First Civilisations” presented by Prof. Brian Fagan.  It is sooo absorbing and started way back at the very earliest fossil record, very few, of the earliest man-like hominids we have so far, and moved forward from there – so paganism’s been right, left and centre front of developments in Europe, though I’m pretty sure fish weren’t mentioned anywhere in his lectures.

It’s Friday Again, So Have Some More Fish

September 25th, 2015

veiltailed goldfish

These beautiful veil-tailed gold fish are very popular, being easy for amateurs to care for in a properly set up tank.  Care includes cleaning the sides of the tank of algae each week or so.  They’re pretty hardy, going by the experience we had when our 3-4 y.o. son  decided at around 6am one morning that he’d clean out their tank as he’d watched/helped his father do.   Our reasonably sized tank held 6 comfortably, and was positioned up on the kitchen counter.  By the time we emerged to organise breakfast, there was our son , standing on a stool, moving the fish about in the tank with his hand to catch them – most had been dropped at least once before landing in a holding basin, but two were still in the tank.  All 6  had at least one damaged fin or tail part, and could be said to be ‘limping a bit’.  We intervened, and removed the sodium bicarb cloudy water (he’d ‘fed’ them!) and added fresh water to the tank, after which they looked a little less stressed.  Within a few short weeks all fish were still alive and tails and fins had fully recovered.  I can totally recommend these hardy beautiful fish as family pets.  We had them for years and handed them on to another family when we left for northern Australia.

It’s Friday Again, So have Some More Fish

September 18th, 2015

We all know what ‘a fish’ is.  Fishing is an important food-producing activity the world over, from deep sea trawling, freshwater fish farming to individuals who daily go to the sea or river to catch fish for their families. And and it’s popular, too, for relaxation in wealthier countries. Check out some of the prices for fishing gear!

When you google ‘fish designs for embroidery’ there are masses of depressingly cutesy images interspersed with a few interesting ones. You will find too, many images of fish on clothing, especially antique haute couture from the 30’s, with fish writhing all over them – some fascinating.











We all recognise a ‘fish skeleton’ for which there are also many images, some interesting, but it’s easy to draw one, so I did.  If I were to use it as a motif for hand stitchery I’d consider fly stitch – for which there are heaps of instructions and demos online; or I might applique or fuse (heat fix with bonding web) some basic fish shapes and embroider over those.  Fish scales  – these images are marvellous – clearly scales provide popular motifs for embroidery, patchwork and quilting.  There’s a patchwork design called clamshell patchwork also known in some places as ‘fishscale patchwork’, and when you google that term different images come up, but fewer of them.   Finally, I googled ‘patchwork fish’…. and found this unusual little video, with the quilting pattern a perfect example of inspiration by fish scale.  I found the quilter, Rose Smith, here  Using curved lines in the patchwork itself would have given a more organic feel to the fish shape, (I recently posted the basics here) but I think her choice to work in squares was deliberate, perhaps ‘automatic’, since all the patterns she generously shares on her website are strictly geometric shapes – triangles, squares and some rectangles, the building blocks of traditional patchwork. Watching the video I was led to expect some insights into the tricky manoeuvring required to bind the inside corners I’ve always avoided, but the video ended before she got to that bit.

It’s Friday Again, So have Some More Fish

September 11th, 2015


A remarkable book I read a few years ago is  “Cod: A Biography of the Fish Than Changed The World”  by Mark Kurlansky    From the point of the familiar cod being an important commodity popular world wide, the study of this fish and its exploitation is woven through with history, international wars, national diets, economies, maritime exploration and continental discovery, folklore, livelihoods, linguistics and general health.  I think Kurlansky must also be something of a foodie (one of his other rivetting books is “Salt” ) as in addition this book also contains recipes and uses for all kinds of cod. When you’ve read “Cod” I strongly recommend reading “Salt”

It’s Friday Again, So Have Some More Fish

September 4th, 2015

Tessellations are fascinating, and the lines of fish in motion provide plenty of opportunity for tessellating a shape or two by a graphic designer, the master of them of course being the dutch designer  (Maurits Cornelis) MC Escher , and there are heaps of marvellous tessellations here, though it is hard to tell if all of them are his – the page seems diluted by other people’s work as you scroll down – typical.   However, just let your eyes wander over the page, and especially enjoy the images I selected to show today.

There are lots of videos but this first very short one is inspiring and is followed by several tutorials on how to make a tessellation.  I didn’t go into them – but good to know they’re there if I develop a yen to design something that way.

This one is pictured in an Escher  bio page I visited,  and is shown as a bas relief panel applied to a building with the caption “…Escher-like mural…” but considering where it is,  I’m taking it as at least based on one of his designs.

fish and birds escher blog









This next one is also of birds and fish, which I think is Escher’s –

Escher tessellation fish








and finally this marvellous Escher 1940-wood-design: Fish Theme tessellation which I think is brilliant, beautiful.

MC Eschers 1940 fish drawing design






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