Avocado stone is a strong, wood-like material which lacks grain, making it possible to carve intricate designs. That and the fact that avocados are a delicious byproduct makes the carving of avocado stones rather appealing!
The process from start to finish takes a long time, but the bulk of this is the drying (seasoning) of the stones, which isn’t particularly labour intensive. I’ve been experimenting a lot with ideas and designs and many have been inspired by the invertebrates encountered during lockdown as well as the Marine creatures I love. I have also found that by integrating metals, some very pleasing results can be achieved. Some things work and some don’t. Sometimes stones split or warp during the curing and sometimes a crack appears after an hour of carving and the model must be binned but ultimately it is extremely meditative and the results have so far been very pleasing.
The avocado menagerie is now beginning to find its way onto my new Etsy page . So you can now own one of my little creations yourself. I like a challenge, so get in touch if you have any special requests!
I peel the stones and leave to dry slowly for at least a month before carving to reduce the risk of cracking or warping. Part of the charm of this material is a slight change in shape and colour over time, but this stage at least minimises the risk of too many nasty shocks!
After planning the designs roughly and marking the stone, carving begins with a selection of very sharp, but sturdy carving blades. I use re-purposed copper wire and alloy wire on some models, this is hand shaped and attached with epoxy resin. All markings are made by pyrography (burning). which adds both colour and texture.
All models are finished with walnut oil, which is a lovely, natural, odourless oil, that effectively protects the piece and can be refreshed occasionally to maintain a bright colour.
When I am happy with the piece, I sometimes attach magnets or hoops depending on how the piece is intended to be used.