Fish skin used to create art

January 3, 2015 11:23 AM

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Native Alaskans and other people of the north have tanned fish skins for centuries to make bags, shoes, and other useful items. Now fish skin leather is appearing on high-end products from Prada, Nike, and Dior. Commercially produced salmon leather is made in mass in Europe and Chile, but in Alaska, it's still made by hand, one fish at time.

Artist Joel Isaak slides his thumb along the body of a mostly frozen salmon, prying the fish skin off of the flesh. The process makes a crackling and sucking sound. He grasps the loosening skin tightly with his other hand to create tension.

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