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Material Research and Exploration: Tagua Nuts

Textiles, Designnicole ziziComment

Tagua Nut,


often called a vegetable ivory. An alternative to elephant. Mainly grown in Ecaudor. Can be carved into sculptures, buttons, jewlrey, and industrial products.

Decreases deforstation, and promotes the growth of Tagua palm trees. Despite the perspective of human management of nature a negative effect, Tagua nut Palm trees actually flourish with human management. Human interaction can actually be essential for the conservation of this tree species.


Absorbs dye like a dream.

Great for industial products, product design and fashion.

Very hard, dense material.



The Tagua fruit is collected from the trees and dried for four up to eight weeks, after which period they become hard

Shells are cracked to extract the nuts, and each nut is cleaned and shaped as desired

The Tagua is dye in the desired colors

After dyed, the nut is again exposed to the sun for one week to two weeks (depends if the season is rainy or dry)

Finally, after drying up the nut the artisan uses sealers to hold the color before polishing the nut


Tagua tree produces three crops a year.

Each Tagua plant produces, 15 fruits that are similar to pine apples, with about 30-80 nuts.

This material has been used as early as colonial times by the spainiards, used for buttons, umbrellas, walking sticks, pipes, napkin rings, chess pieces.

Taguas palm tree is also used for roof construction, and powder to feed cattle in equador.

In one year, the Tagua palm tree produces 20lbs of ivory vs elephant producing only 20lbs in a lifetime.


Ecuadorian Hands Colombian Indiarts One World Fair Trade

Behind The Beard Episode 3 featuring Nicole Zizi

Art, Design, Intentions, Architecture, Sneakersnicole ziziComment

Recently, I had the pleasure to sit down with Aaron J. Jackson from the Fuck Going Out Podcast. We speak on my journey as an artist, designer, and entrepreneur. Some of the topics we go over such as my upbringing, how I got into art, planning events, and transitioning from graphic design to designing products.

Like I told Aaron, this interview is something special to me. This is the first interview where I am recorded live (so you get to actually hear my voice!), but this is also the first time where I speak on how I got into the industry and talk about projects I am working on and what inspires me to create!

There are not many podcast that speak on the different creatives in the industry outside of music. I believe this podcast is neccesary today to give other creatives to voice their beliefs, ideas, and opinions. So shout-out to Aaron and the FGO team for bringing this to life!

The podcast is available on FGO on Apple Podcast, as well as Soundcloud. Check out the link below to hear it on Soundcloud!

"Polo Stables" featuring a Grass Roof for Horses to Roam

Architecturenicole ziziComment

Okay, so this isn't a home- I initially thought it was, but I can imagine this building being put into a home design. This is the stables for polo star Nacho Figueras on the flatlands of La Pampa near General Rodríguez, a city within the capital of Argentina. The project is built mainly of concrete and hardwoods, chosen for beauty and low maintenance. What I find most intriguing is the way the roof melds in to the landscape. The roof is sloped and merges into the landscape, making it easy for the horses to roam between the roof and the ground floor.