Garvin learned this craft from his father, and fondly recalls the times as a young boy when he would help sand and polish newly carved pieces. Like his father before him, Garvin still goes to the same butcher shops all over Tobago to collect the horns that are transformed into exquisitely carved fish, birds and other creatures.
“My father was the man who shot the cows at the abatwa (slaughter house) for the government. So all the butchers in Tobago knew him. Now the older ones have died and the young ones know me, and I buy the horns from them.”
Garvin uses the same hand carving techniques as his father. Each fish is carved with an intricate pattern and detail to create the layering of scales. When Garvin’s father was alive all this was done by hand, and much of Garvin’s process remains the same today.