Rewilding is the new self-care...

Field Notes from Jess ~ Rewilding in 2021 | Week 15/52 | Spring

fish tanning Apr 04, 2021
Fish Tanning | Rewilding
52 Sundays of REWILDING in 2021 
Field Notes from Jess ~ Sunday 15/52 weekend in review: TANNED FISH SKIN LEATHER!
Indigenous people from coastal regions around the world have traditionally dried or tanned fish skin as the material is strong and water resistant and was essential to survival.
From boots to parkas, pouches and jewelry...the art of this ancestral skill is making a comeback. Fish skin leather clothing that was made and sewed by hand, was for the most part replaced by factory made rubber (used for rain gear), and fish tanning has almost become a lost art. Thankfully, there are teachers out there who are sharing this traditional crafting technique and luckily I was connected to Janey Chang Art + Ancestral Skills who beautifully delivered an online course this week in partnership with the Salmon Sisters (who brilliantly created a sustainably sourced commercial fishing company out of Alaska). I ordered a box of their wild-caught Salmon along with their artisan seasonings and used one of the fillets to make my first handmade fish leather.
After scraping the scales and flesh off the skin, I washed it and soaked it in a tanning solution of black tea. The final product is not quite ready as it will sit in a mason jar for a few more days, however I can see and feel the alchemy taking place. Our beautiful instructor creates the most stunning fish leather and uses natural dyes in her advanced classes to really make exceptional pieces.
Instructor Janey will be partnering with Wildkind Academy in June 2021 for an online Intro to Fish Tanning Course for Wildkind!