Lionfish jewelry is an emerging market among artisans both inside and outside the invaded range. Using the fins and spines of removed lionfish results in beautiful and unique wearable pieces while also raising awareness about the lionfish invasion.
I asked artist and designer Tara Cassidy the story behind her lionfish jewelry -- see what she said about her work below. To learn more (and snag your own lionfish jewelry!) visit her website and Etsy shop.
While there are a few others making jewelry from fins, I wanted to do it unlike anyone else ever had. I knew I needed to preserve the fan like quality, vivid colors and detailed texture. So, after a considerable experimentation period, I released the collection at the Bermuda Lionfish Culling Tournament in July 2015. All of my work aims to draw awareness to environmental concerns and capture the many facets of our natural world. With 15% of this collection, I will be donating to support local Lionfish research with hope my efforts will inspire others to take action as well.
Creating the pieces takes many steps over at least 6 days using a bio-resin to seal the fin. It's a rather rewarding process and to me is like working with mermaid fins minus the guilt! The variation between them is truly incredible. I often have to stop and examine the way particular colors meld into one another or fins that have a singular curious marking. They're the most fascinating material I will probably ever utilize, ever changing and always exciting to receive a new batch.
At this very moment there are a stack of fins in my freezer waiting to be preserved. I hope one day they're hard to come by. Until then though, I'll enjoy making something beautiful out of something so ugly.
We highly recommend you check out our other collections, 2 of which are some of the only non-harvested jewelry collections in the world!
ABOUT LIONFISH IN BERMUDA
Pterois is a genus of venomous marine fish, more commonly known as lionfish. Though native to the Indo Pacific, due to the pet trade industry, lionfish have become an invasive species in the Atlantic. Two species are found here in Bermuda, Pterois volitans and Pterois miles. There are several groups involved in raising awareness and implementing an aggressive lionfish management program to help protect Bermuda’s marine ecosystem.
For more information or to find out how you can help -
Image credit: Tara Cassidy