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Cleaning/bleaching a tagua nut carving

Pierre Chabaud

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I have put some time into the carving of a small coiled dragon in a tagua nut (pictures to come I hope).

Through the process the nut has been colored by my preparatory drawings, and also by the sanding paper I used (it leaves a grey shading...).

I was wondering what type of cleaning you would recommend me to use.

So far I tried: dishwashing soap, toothpaste, soap

I would be thankfull for any idea you may have used.

Best regards,




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What did you use to make the markings that leave the shadows?  Pictures would be helpful maybe.

I am thinking that having used moisture to wash, and the shadows remain, that the microscopic pores may not be cleanable.  If what you used responds to hydrogen peroxide, I might first try a tiny bit of it on a swab.  That is more mild that bleach.  

If what you used is mineral it may not respond to either peroxide or bleach.  If you have another Tagua nut to practice stain removal on, that would be the best idea.

Third what-if ... is the stain part of the coloration of the nut, by chance?



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On 5/19/2021 at 5:03 PM, Ed Twilbeck said:

Please post some pictures. I would love to see I have a couple of Tagus nuts been thinking about carving them . I have carved a twisted Dragon out of wood , my granddaughter claimed it before I took any pictures. 
Would love to see yours.

Hi Ed,

you'll find three (bad ) pictures of the WIP dragon.

It was a discovery journey for me: first time with a tagua nut (previous carvings on avocado pits), discovering my handtools (japan knives and Pfeil gouges)...

To date I am quite happy with the result (despite the obvious et numerous defaults), and still working on the polishing part (how to polish in corners, how to avoid grey shade coming from the sandpaper...).

Happy to discuss, and collect any commentaries







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