Vegetable Ivory

July 12, 2008

I would like to try some carving with vegetable ivory.

Used from the 19th century in Europe and America to make buttons, figurines, toys etc. it’s a sustainable alternative to elephant tusk ivory made from the South American tagua nut. Harvesting and carving tagua provides an alternative source of income to cutting down rainforests.

The tagua nut is an extremely hard palm nut so I gather that it’s very difficult to carve by hand, but I think it could be used to make a nice cameo.

UK-based LeJu uses tagua nuts and other tropical seeds to make cool and colourful jewellery.

LeJu necklace - Tigre

LeJu necklace - Tigre