Large purple flower Olympus tagua brooch by Artisan Life
This striking Olympus brooch is handmade in Columbia from tagua. The colour is a rich deep purple, shaded from dark to a paler hue, with a deep brown coloured centre to the flower. The brooch is made from tagua, which is a nut grown in South America. The nut is sliced to make the lovely soft round 'petals' and a full section of the nut makes the curved flower centre. The whole piece is sewn together with thick strong dark brown cord, which also attaches a locking clasp pin. The darker edges come from the outside skin of the nut.
The brooch is 9.5cm across.
Tagua is also called 'vegetable ivory' and is a totally natural product, derived from tagua nuts which are native to Columbia and other areas of South America. Harvesting the nuts and using them to make jewellery is a way to earn a living from the natural environment for local people in Columbia. After harvesting, the nuts are dyed and dried, for several years, before being cut, sliced, or made into beads, which are all gently polished. The result is a silky smooth finish which feels very similar to ivory.