Tagua nut inlay – wooden clocks

Wooden clocks are working works of art.  Using many shades and types of wood, if you make wooden clocks, you can embellish them with tagua nut inlay, and if your gears are small enough you can use it for them too!  Excellent book.  It mainly tells of tagua nut being used for other inlay work but I can see some fine tagua nut lines going on the hands of the clock in my mind. Making a wooden clock is one that’s in my bucket list when I find a bucket that’s not being used for other things.  Great illustrations and instructions. Available at Amazon.

Tagua Nut Box

tagua nut boxThere’s more than one way to deal with a void – such as make it bigger!  This artist has created an ornate box out of a tagua nut with some obsidian inlay. Great for trinkets and other fascinating items, also makes a great gift box for earrings!

Posted in box.

Tagua Nut Jewelry – not just necklaces!

tagua nut ring on ring finger, left hand.You can make or buy tagua nut rings – a great use for smaller tagua nuts.  Drilling through the center also eliminates the void but be careful when you drill:  you will need a very sharp drill, preferably a drill press, and a vice.  Drill s-l-o-w-l-y – you don’t want to crack it!  After it’s been drilled, you can carve it, sand it dye it and polish it to make a beatiful ring!  Great as an insert into a traditional metal ring as well, either dyed or scrimshawed.

Tagua Nut Slices

tagua nut03Tagua nut can be dyed with fabric dye.

The slices to the right have been dyed with a similar process and are available as six large thin tagua nut slices in assorted colors for only $2.99 at the time of this publication.

If you’d like to do this on your own –

You will need:
Tagua Nuts (sanded if whole, slabs or beads).
Fabric Dye
Soda Ash

1. Put your tagua nuts into a plastic or metal container with a lid. In a separate container, mix 4 tsp. of a fiber reactive dye with 1 cup of warm water. Mix thoroughly.

2. Pour the dye and water mixture over the nuts (not the other way around – this prevents splashing). Be sure the tagua nut is completely covered. If it’s not, make some more and fill the container until you can see the tagua nut is completely immersed. Replace the lid and allow the dye to penetrate for one hour.

3. After an hour, remove the lid and add 1 1/2 tsp. of soda ash and mix well. Let the soda ash penetrate the nuts for at least another hour. The soda ash acts as a fixative which will prevent the dye from running.

4. Rinse the tagua in cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of detergent and mix well with the tagua, then rinse them again in cold water.

Tagua nut craft kit

tagua nut kitCurious about an ivory alternative? Rainforest Ramble Tagua Nut Craft Kit  allows you to make up to 25 projects!

The kit includes   A tagua nut slice (which makes a great natural “canvas” for young artists), plus an adhesive pin back for each participant to make his or her own tagua nut pin. A “Rainforest Sample Set” to show children all the different products that are created from items in the rainforest, including coffee, gum, balloons and more! Our exclusive instructor’s activity guide that makes planning the project easy and delivers loads of fun ideas for rainforest activities, games and relevant projects. The only materials you supply are markers and rainforest snacks.

Note: Tagua nut is a tree nut – there may be individuals that are allergic to this material!

Larger Tagua Nuts

Five large tagua nutsTagua nuts come in many shapes and sizes.  Most if not all have a void in the center which can make carving a netsuke a challenge.  You never know where the void is going to show up, or how large it’s going to be – except that the larger tagua nuts have larger voids.Large Polished Tagua Nuts, 40-50 mm are available from Amazon. The bark looks beautiful when lightly sanded, and the interior ranges from creamy white to a light beige.

Tagua nut for carving

three carved tagua nuts front, two whole tagua nuts behind Carving taguanuts is almost as hard as carving soapstone. Difficult to hold and hard, sharp tools are essential and rotary power tools work the best. Holding the tagua nut is accomplished by either sanding a flat area and gluing it onto a board, pressing it into modeling clay, putting a screw into it to secure it to a board or using a vise. You can find tagua nuts “in the raw” in a number of places. Amazon has tagua nuts available Bags of 10.

Tagua Nut Elephant Netsuke

Cute elephant netsuke carved from taguanut – an eco-friendly ivory alternative. The palm nut is almost as hard as ivory and is difficult to hold, making carving a challenge. Furthermore, there is almost always a void in the middle of the nut, making carving more difficult.  For sale at Amazon