RE-SEA ME is the continuation of SEA ME. To show the duality between plastic waste in the oceans and the sustainable materials the oceans have to offer, Nienke continued her search for materials out of the sea. She discovered that fish skins are a waste product of the fishing industry, while you can also make them into beautiful leather.
She went to fish shops to collect their waste and discovered a way of tanning the skins without any chemicals. By using an old technique, that requires a lot of manual labour, she created a strong, sustainable and beautiful material that can be used like regular leather. To show the abilities of the leather, Nienke designed a small stool with fish leather seating. To continue the SEA ME collection, she also designed a conceptual rug where the fish leather is sown into a discarded fishing net.
For this project Nienke used salmon skins, but almost any kind of fish can be used to make leather of. While the tanning process was done by hand now, she believes it also has potential to be produced at a lager scale.
Nienke collected her research into the sustainability of the fishing- and leather-tanning industry in her book ‘Fish Leather’. She explains the natural tanning process and hopes to encourage others to use this technique as well. Available in the webshop.
RE-SEA ME is part of the collection of the Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL).
Photography by Femke Poort
Size rug: 160 x 50 cm.
Size stool: 40 x 35 x 20 cm.