Peoples appetite for the avocado has grown just about every year for the past 15 years; invading kitchens and menus across North America. And while most of us see the avocado pits as trash, Irish artist Jan Campbell sees them as an opportunity.
While cutting into an avocado at lunchtime, Jan was struck by how beautiful the pit (or ‘stones,’ as she calls them) inside was. Admitting she’d never really paid attention to the pit in avocados, this particular one really stood out to her.
“It felt like a shame to just throw it into the compost. After deliberating over it for a few minutes, I wiped the stone clean and put it into the pocket of my raincoat.”
After weeks of pondering its potential, a surface scratch inspired her to carve away the layers until a beautiful piece of art appeared. Now she carves the tranquil faces of forest spirits, the flowing hair of ancient goddesses, and even a handful of wild mushrooms now and then. The miniatures can be simply displayed as statues, or worn as pendants; they’re meant to provide the holder with a unique sense of companionship and comfort.
Her sculptures last a long time, because she uses avocados which are dried and preserved; making the stones more strong and durable.
“It shares the characteristics of a dense wood,” she said. “When worn as a pendant, the finish on the stone may be subjected to general wear and tear, as you can expect from any wooden pendant.”