A fin of beauty: making objects from fish skin
A fin of beauty: making objects from fish skin

Date: Wednesday 3rd February 2016

Artist and OSS Director Kari Furre was led to her profession by a life-long love of outdoor swimming and a fortuitous trip to Iceland. She talks to Jonathon Foyle of the FT about her work in fishskin

Some train systematically for their profession. Others feel a calling. “I came to it from the swimming and taxidermy route,” says Kari Furre of her vocation as a maker of fish leather.

Kari in her element (Photograph Jim Wileman)

Based in the village of Harbertonford in Devon, south-west England, Furre, 65, is at once a master of this traditionally Nordic material, a “wild swimmer” and a polymath of an empirical sort. As we talk, ideas, enthusiasms and recollections spark off her — taking notes is like catching a shoal of fish with your bare hands.

Preserving fish skin is a tradition in Norway, where Furre’s father was born. He was a soldier during the second world war and was able to “build a house single-handedly”. Furre describes him as “a maker who couldn’t bear to work for anybody else”. Yet for all the self-reliance he passed down to his daughter, he was not a champion of the piscine epidermis.

Read more. FT 22/1/2016

See more of Kari Furre's work: www.karifurre.co.uk