Blue fish cushion, hand-printed using a collagraph plate

Front view of the blue hand-printed koi fish cushion.


A LIMITED EDITION hand-made cushion hand-printed with a blue koi fish.
This is one of a kind; I only made a few and I kept one for myself. The fish is printed onto white textured 100% cotton fabric, and the cushion is backed with a blue cotton fabric. The piping is navy blue.

The cushion cover is removable and washable (see note below).

Dimensions: 40 cm x 40 cm.

How this was made

This blue fish design was printed by hand onto the fabric using a hand-built collage plate. This is in essence a new way of approaching the printmaking technique of "collagraphy", whereby hand-made collaged plates are inked manually and usually printed onto paper. I thought I'd try printing onto fabric instead. The cushion cover is hand-made by me too.

I became fascinated by the carp during a short residency in Beijing in 2015. I saw koi ponds everywhere. Fish are a popular and iconic design in China. The carp in particular swim against the current in their natural habitat, and are known for their longevity too, so the Chinese prize them and use the imagery of these fish to symbolise strength and resilience.

To make this cushion I first made the printing plate by sticking a variety of textured materials like eggshells, tissue paper and patterned wallpapers onto a board. I then varnished the plate to prevent ink soaking in and spoiling the materials. The ink was applied in relief using rollers and the fabric placed over, before running it through my intaglio press. The ink requires several weeks drying time to fix the ink onto the fabric, and was further heat-fixed too.

Please see note below about washing.

What's included in the price?

Piped removable cushion cover, hand-printed using a koi fish collagraph plate.
Premium quality duck-feather cushion pad with cotton cover.
All fabrics have been pre-washed to check for shrinkage.
The printed design has been fixed on the fabric, and I washed once on a delicates cycle to double check.

Please note: the fish design is printed on the surface of the fabric using oil-based inks suitable for fabric printing. However, I would avoid washing at a high temperature and too frequently, as there will inevitably be some slight fading with time.


Genevieve Lavers at gennytheprintmaker

Suitable for

  • Christmas
  • Fairs, festivals & exhibitions
  • Fathers Day
  • Mothers Day
  • Overseas Holiday
  • Pet lovers
  • Romantic
  • UK Holiday


Gold Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.





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In-person course
Ginny Whiting - - #32222

I am a contemporary painter with an interest in printing and, between lockdowns, recently completed my third workshop with Genny, another thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience, which I will undoubtedly repeat at some point in the future to extend my skills. It is a pleasure to work in Genny’s studio in a delightful area part of rural Dorset. The course is well organised and planned with all the required resources included. Genny explains the techniques and process clearly and is always ready with helpful advice and ideas if required. If you have an interest in collagraphy but haven’t yet tried it, I would thoroughly recommend this course. You may well be amazed at what you can produce.

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

This is lovely feedback Ginny. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. I thought you went home with some lovely work, and I think they'll be snapped up very quickly. Shall look forward to another collaboration at some point.

In-person course
Teresa Garraud - - #29675

My friend Jill and I returned for a second time, doing a one day workshop printing plates that we had made at home. With Genny’s excellent help and supervision we did five prints each and had a super day. Another delicious lunch of lentil soup, bread, cheese and salad.
So much to learn and try, I’m sure we’ll be back again when time and Corona virus permits.

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

Thank you for sending in a second review! It is helpful for people to know there are options to return without doing a full two-day workshop again. I am glad you are finding collagraphy fun! Let's hope we'll be able to get together again and print some more, when everything returns to normal. Take care X

In-person course
Teresa Garraud - - #28134

My friend Jill and I loved this course learning a new art/craft with such exciting possibilities. Genny is an excellent teacher who took us through all the processes involved with great ease. She dealt easily with our different artistic abilities and approaches. We worked hard but it was very relaxing at the same time with lots of informative conversation. At the end of both days we were a bit tired but very pleased with what we had done and eager to do more. We are definitely hoping to come back again.
The lunches were super-homemade soup and local cheeses and bread the first time and a delicious salad with local trout pate and cheeses the second time. And of course, not forgetting Genny’s home made cake with our coffee/tea! I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in printmaking.

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

This is a truly lovely review Teresa! Many thanks for taking the time to do it! I hope you and Jill continue to explore printmaking, and I would love to have you back!!

In-person course
Christine Stevens - - #27782

I really enjoyed my 2 day course with Genny. She had clearly prepared specifically to meet my needs and also did some homework afterwards to generate a Power point presentation of what had been achieved, which I'm already putting into practice. Lunch was excellent too.

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

Hello Christine, many thanks for such a great endorsement! I must say, I can't wait to see how you progress and develop your chameleon theme. Do stay in touch, and I am happy to help with advice and suggestions at any time.

In-person course
Alice Woods - - #25666

This course really was bespoke. It left me feeling inspired to rush home and implement all my newly learnt skills. Genny was a wonderful teacher. She was quickly able to work out what level I was at and guide me forwards, whilst making me feel like I had lots to offer the creative process. She listened carefully to what I wanted to achieve, and encouraged my ideas, whilst providing plenty of inspiration as well as expert knowledge and skills. A fantastic 2 days.

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

Thank you so much Alice for a such a glowing review. In terms of what I always hope to achieve as a tutor in these bespoke "masterclasses", I couldn't have asked for anything better. You arrived with such a positive and open-minded attitude; the success of your workshop was definitely a two-way process. Best of luck with your printmaking at home, and keep me posted! I am here to help if needed.

In-person course
Fran G - - #23689

Genny is very thorough in her pre-preparation for the class, aiming to ensure you get what you want from the two sessions. She explains everything very well and allows lots of opportunities to take things in whatever direction you want, including experimenting with ideas which are new to her. I would wholeheartedly recommend her masterclass. It is full on as a one-to-one, however the learning experience and output is well worth it.

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

Many thanks Fran for taking the time to send a review. I really appreciate all the positive feedback! I think you get the medal for the most output on one of my workshops, and your willingness to experiment with printing onto a variety of surfaces really paid off. Shall look forward to seeing how it all develops.

In-person course
Ali Mauger - - #23630

Genny is an extremely competent tutor, who is passionate and knowledgeable about her craft. I had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend at Genny's bright and spacious studio and felt very welcome in her home. Nothing was too much trouble and I was treated to a delicious lunch, including home made cake and a Chinese tea ceremony! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course to anyone and I'm delighted with the prints I have made. I hope to visit Genny again soon. If you're looking for a relaxing and enjoyable workshop, this is the one for you....worth every penny.

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

Thank you Ali! It made my day reading that wonderful feedback! I hope you are having a nice relaxing weekend after last weekend's printmaking extravaganza! I thought you achieved a really nice balance of relaxation with commitment to learning the techniques, and for a first go with collagraphy the outcomes were incredibly successful. Hope to see you back in the studio!! Many thanks for taking the time to write the review.

In-person course
Lynn Davy - - #19367

This course is brilliant even if you've never done any printmaking before. I did Genny's two-part introduction to collagraphs a while ago and absolutely loved it - have been back for more one-day studio sessions since. Genny is endlessly patient with my chronically messy way of working, endlessly tolerant of my 'what-if...' ideas, and endlessly helpful with suggestions when I get stuck and have no ideas at all! I was amazed by what I was able to produce in my first printing session and I have prints from subsequent sessions hanging on my walls. I love all the tea-lore you learn alongside the printing techniques too! Also the cake is delicious.

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

Thank you for such a positive review. Your creative ideas were wonderful and perfectly suited to the experimental nature of collagraphy! Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

In-person course
Debbie Day - - #19225

My daughter and I spent two enjoyable, and productive, days with Genny, learning the basics of collagraph printmaking. Neither of us had attempted any type of printmaking before, but Genny put us at ease, and by the end of day two we had both managed to make seven prints, which clearly demonstrated the progression of skills we had been taught.
We went home with inky fingers and a sense of pride, and hope to return to learn more!
My daughter was attending the workshop as part of the work she was doing for the gold level Arts Award (Trinity), and Genny had clearly researched what needed to be covered during the workshop in readiness for our arrival. She, very successfully, managed to teach and support my daughter, and inspired her to merge the skills she had learnt with the ceramics she already produces.
Thank you very much!

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

Thank you for your lovely review! Wishing you both all the best, and good luck with the arts award. Hope to see you again soon!

In-person course
Vicki Solly - - #19173

My son and I are pictured in the photographs. We attended a two day workshop together. He is 13 and told me that he is not very good at Art. What he produced in 2 days was utterly amazing and he used it to help him achieve his 2nd degree black belt. I loved creating dragonflies and got in touch with my well hidden creative side. The course was really well planned and Genny got the pace exactly right. She was able to appeal to us both at the same time and inspire us both. I must say I would thoroughly recommend this course.

Response from gennytheprintmaker:

Thank you for such wonderful feedback! It was a joy to teach your bespoke workshop; you both worked hard and were so receptive to ideas. It was great fun and I learnt a lot about kickboxing!

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