Fruit Pit Carvings Peach Face Carving... Amazing details in miniature carvings
By Bob Shamey

I love to carve virtually anything, but the palette for my work that I love the most is cherry pits. I love to eat cherries to get at the pit; I then continue to suck on the pits to get them completely clean. You can carve them the next day or whenever you want.

I carve a variety of pits including (from largest to smallest) peach, apricot, plum, olive, sweet cherry, wild cherry, and pin cherry. The smallest seed that I found to carve is the tiny pit inside the red berries that come from the dogwood tree.

Actual Size
Click Image to view Actual Size

My favorite pit to carve is the sweet cherry pit. These pits are just the right size for me to feel comfortable carving梐nd what I love to carve is faces. Pits are perfect to carve faces in. As no two faces are alike, neither are pits. So I have a new base for a new face or personality with each new pit梩here抯 a whole little person lurking inside every one of them! Now I抦 searching for something smaller than a dogwood seed that is hard enough and thick enough to carve!


Purple Plum Pit Carving
Purple plum pit carving

Tips for Pit Carving

Be sure to clean all the pulp off the seeds. I usually suck on them for 5 to 10 minutes. If you leave any pulp to dry on the seeds, it is nearly impossible to remove. If you don抰 want to suck on the seeds, be sure to clean them off well.

The age of the pit doesn抰 matter. You can carve them as soon as they are dry. They will carve as easily the day after you clean them as they will after years in storage.

I use a Foredom flexible shaft tool and small dental burs that I get from dentist friends. Use larger burs for larger pits. Pits can be carved with just about any sharp tool梩he old timers used to carve peach pits with pocket knives.

For fine details, or to sign and date your carving, use a knife-point graver (usually used for engraving or jewelry-making). I hold all my pits in my fingers梕ven down to the smallest dogwood seed.

To finish the carvings, I dip them in Deft polyurethane. Deft doesn抰 seem to fill in all the fine lines and details. Then apply a wood stain, such as Minwax Cherry Stain, to bring out the detail. It is possible to paint the pits, but I think they look better with a natural finish.

Dogwood Seed Carving
Dogwood seed carving

Olive pit carving
Olive pit
 
Wild Cherry Pit Carving
Wild cherry pit featured on 揜ipley抯 Believe It or Not
 
Sweet Cherry Pit Carving
Sweet cherry pit
 
Peach Pit Carving
Peach pit carving
 
About the Author
Bob Shamey Bob Shamey has been carving for years and specializes in miniatures. He was featured on 揜ipley抯 Believe It or Not three times梩wice for his carved toothpicks and once for his carved fruit pits. He also holds the Guinness record for the smallest carved chain with seventeen links carved from a toothpick. His toothpick carvings were featured in WCI Holiday 1998 (Issue 5). When not carving, he is in his studio making jewelry, or spending time outdoors. Visit his website at www.shamey.com
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Webpage last updated:   Tuesday, August 8, 2006