In this guest post Julie McQueen shows us how to create a beautiful tarpon scale necklace. ~MC
Many people who spend time outdoors will collect trophies to remind them of their adventures. You might find a rock from a favorite hike. Others will have animals mounted so they can look at them and re-live the adventure and appreciation for their time in the field. People who fish often practice a catch-and-release method that leaves them with only photographs of their greatest catch.
A couple years ago I found myself on a boat in Boca Grande, Florida, fishing for tarpon during the month of June. This is one of the most popular times and locations to fish for these beautiful giants because of the natural feeding frenzy that occurs during the Hill Tide moon phase. Millions of crabs are flushed into the Boca Grande Pass, where the tarpon then migrate in to feed on them. Often, you can see the tarpon “rolling” on the surface of the water to feed and gulp air into their collapsible lung. It’s a magical time.
As luck would have it, I caught a tarpon on this particular trip. At nearly 7 feet long, and pushing 180 pounds, she was a beautiful fish. I could have stared at her all day. While we had her next to the boat to revive her I pulled a scale from her body as a trophy. She didn’t feel it. She just felt us gently reviving her and keeping her safe from sharks while she regained some of her energy. We tagged her so that a conservation organization can keep tabs on her, and then we let her go back into the school with the thousands of other fish.
That is the story of this scale. I took my time to figure out how to best preserve it, and this is what I came up with. I’ll take you step-by-step through the process. This is my first time working on a project like this one, so you can learn from my mistakes, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to create a memory of your own.
Step 1: Acquire the scale
I’ve already told you how I came into possession of this gorgeous tarpon scale. After you pull it, be sure to keep it pressed flat and in a safe place, especially if you will be spending more time out on the water. When I got home from that day on the water, I put this scale between pages of a book, and then pressed the book down with a heavy object for a few days. When you remove the scale from it’s place, it should dry flat, but some of the natural curve will occur as it dries more. If the scale becomes too curved, you can simply place it into a shallow bowl of water and it will soften, and then you will be able to flatten it again – using the same method.
Step 2: Decide Your Design
I went to my local art supply store and found some colors that I thought would look beautiful with the…