Last year, my friend Gene Seneca was showing us his swamp-found treasures and creations. Lying on the floor off to the side was a preserved garfish body.
You know that moment when you see a thing, and it lights up something deep inside of you? That was me with this garfish. It hit a profoundly primal, aesthetic-gatekeeping nerve that said, "yes, this, we LOVE."
Even though I was born on Bayou Lafourche, raised in south Louisiana, and have a kinship with both the land and its creatures more than most, the garfish had eluded me.
I was holding the preserved body of a prehistoric fish that has been swimming in our waters for more than 180 MILLION years. The stories it could tell.
Instantly I knew I was about to dive deep into this rabbit hole. And deep I went.
I learned its history, how it sustained itself over time, and how it sustained us. I also learned how, somewhere along the way, we turned on it and decided it was a “trash fish” to kill for sport.
After interviewing an expert, I learned that despite their intimidating size and fierce look, garfish are surprisingly docile.
I took breaks from hours of carving only to spend hours staring at detailed pictures of their heads and eye sockets. I studied the way their jaws connect and how the teeth close inside them, the way their gills lie, and how their fins nestle against their body.
I didn’t find that garfish as much as it found me. There is an ancient knowing that emanates from a life force that’s been around for so long. It was a gift to be immersed in the deep with it for a while.
The garfish is a survivor unscathed by extinction. It was unbothered while lands shifted and mountains rose and while humans moved in, took over, called it names, and tried to eliminate it.
A survivor who, despite all its ancient wisdom, grins ever so slightly like the most unlikely Buddha.
There was a meditative spirit in the tediousness of hand carving each scale, and I developed a deep appreciation for a creature I only knew from scary bayou water monster stories.
This fish is my most challenging carve to date, but it deserves the effort.
It’s a garfish. Not a monster or a threat, but a wise old waterway wanderer born of millions of years of survival. This piece is my way of honoring it.
Design inspired specifically by the Alligator Gar.
Made by hand in our south Louisiana studio.
Each piece varies slightly due to its handmade nature.
MIMOSA bracelets are slightly adjustable. The first time you put your new bracelet on, adjust it one time to a size that slips on and off comfortably.
Our jewelry is solid cast metal, so repeated adjusting can cause it to break!
*Note: Sterling Silver and 14k Gold prices may vary due to fluctuation in the gold and silver markets.