Our hand-printed wedding invitations were an auspicious omen of the fish theme
Chance is always powerful. Let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish. -Ovid
The theme of fish has been a constant touchstone for Ene and me since we first met over twenty years ago, when Ene wore fish earrings and we lived in a one room house cantilevered over the Hudson River. We decorated our first Christmas tree with foil-covered chocolate fish, and printed our own fish themed wedding invitations from a woodcut I made one winter, the ice floes buckling and cracking with the changing tides beneath our feet. As Peace Corps volunteers in West Africa, we subsisted on a diet of dried fish and fufu, then soon after, as deckhands on a salmon seiner in Alaska’s Alexander Archipelago, our boat hauled in over 250,000 pounds of fish in a single season. It’s just like that with us and fish. We never consciously decided that fish would be the theme, it just seemed to fit.
trowel in hand, Ene skins the anchovy
Needless to say, we were pretty excited when the San Francisco Arts Commission funded our proposal for two monumental, ceramic mosaic-skinned sculptures honoring the importance of ‘feeder fish’ to the ecosystem, to be installed at the new Ortega Branch of the Public Library, near Ocean Beach. The project has been an ideal collaboration between Ene and me, and combines our skills more evenly than other projects, giving Ene more of an opportunity for hands-on, full scale fabrication. Ever the intuitive baker, Ene has a feel for doughs and plasters, and seems supremely in her element with trowel in hand.
the rockfish is almost ready for its golden mosaic skin