Eilisain aka Lisette in Gaelic

Welcome to my blog, where I document my process in making jewelry, muse on the influence of art and the joy of making beautiful objects.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

going nuts!

My Panama update continues.

As I'd stated in my first post, Panamanian artisans are very talented and like most artisans in Central and South America; they make the most of their environment and utilize what the forest and the earth provides them to make their art.
Tagua nuts are found primarily in the jungles of Central and upper South America. They come in various sizes as seen above. I bought 5; one especially big. I first came across tagua art when I visited my extended family 4 years ago. I bought one of the carved and painted animals (see below). I was enchanted (one of my overused words).

Tagua art is just so cool and fascinating. So with my recent visit, I was determined to learn more and of course, buy more! I spoke with a local artist near Panama Viejo, the woman I spoke to was SO nice. She gave me the tagua painted beads below.
Carved and painted tagua animal necklaces; I LOVED these too. (sorry for the horrible photos!) The necklaces below are of a sloth and jaguar, I think.I asked her where locals found the nuts and she told me that in Panama the tagua nuts are found in the Darien region, bordering Columbia (which is kinda far from Panama city). She also told me that one must wait for the nuts to dry out and then crack the outer shell before carving. Tagua nuts are very similar to animal ivory, only humane and sanctioned.
I'm going to attempt to carve my new tagua nuts...we shall see how they turn out! Pin It

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