Bobby Little is an artist and sculptor in Rum Cay in the Bahamas who has spent nearly a quarter of a century turning dead coral, old conch shells, abandoned oil drums, and other trash into art.
Little’s artwork ranges from 20-foot metal sculptures to tiny two-inch carvings, with everything from custom candleholders and countertops to unique jewelry in between.
“There are literally four million conchs that are harvested annually, which leaves four million discarded shells,” said Little. “Each conch is worth maybe $2 to those harvesting, but I can turn that shell into $200 to $500 in sea life art.”
Little saws the discarded conch shells into rough forms and turns them into jewelry shaped like little marlins, sailfish, turtles, and other sea life native to the Bahamas.
“With a proper system in place, conch art can become a cottage industry, where locals can participate and make money if not a living,” said Little, who is willing to provide raw materials and provide instruction. “Imagine, instead of selling jewelry art items in local shops that are Made in China, shops can sell items Made in The Bahamas or Caribbean.
Little’s artwork will soon be used to help promote fishing tournaments at Guy Harvey Outposts in Bimini and Old Bahama Bay. The 20-foot Burning Wahoo sculpture will be featured at the 2015 Bonfire Beach Bash & Tournament at Old Bahama Bay next month.
To learn more:
- Read about the Bonfire Tournament and Festival Series.
- Check out this piece in The Bahamas Weekly: Rum Cay Artist Turning Trash into Treasures.
Copyright © 2015 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.