Tagua nuts grow in Central and South America on palm-like trees. They are plentiful, sustainably harvested and fairly traded. Woodworkers and carvers have been working with Tagua (nicknamed "vegetable ivory") for years. You may have it in your house in the form of a drawer handle or a button.
Creating the Tagua Collection has captivated me. I'm drawn to the material for many reasons, but first and foremost because it is organic. Each piece has character of its own. The natural color is white but varies in tone a bit. Some of the pieces have distinct patterns inside. I sometimes dye the pieces with tea and other spices and the resulting color is always a surprise. I carve, shape and sand the pieces, but often my ideas are interrupted or re-directed mid-design by the character of the material. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is not to get frustrated and the opportunity is to let go and play... to engage.
I hope you'll like the results. The pieces are mostly one of a kind and I'm struggling not to end up with the whole collection in my own jewelry box!