Last (southern hemisphere) Spring, I was very into avocado pit carving. All you need is an avocado and X-acto knife (or some kind of pen knife), patience and some imagination.

I was in New Zealand for about a month then, and very amazed by the Maori bovine bone carvings. At the same time someone linked me to an article about a lady in Netherlands who does Avocado Stone Faces, and I was really inspired! I always wanted to try wood carving, but didn’t have the equipment, space, or place for it, so this was perfect.

Basically, one pit gives you two canvases to work on, as you have to split the two halves since they will shrink later and split anyway. First you need to wait between one to two weeks for the pit to dry a bit after removing it from the avocado. After carving you need to wait a few days before it hardens into a wood-like texture, and the colours stop changing.

Things I learnt through trial and error:

  • The uncarved top layer turns a lovely deep brown, and the carved portions turn into a lighter brown shade.
  • As it hardens the pit also shrinks, which may cause it to warp depending on the side you carved the piece.
  • You can’t be impatient, if the pit is too soft you can’t carve anything and will spoil the piece anyway.
  • Details can be carved a few days later when the pit is properly wood-like and harder.

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