Organics reanimated: Pistachio shell textures

So many seemingly ordinary things carry in themselves an own beauty. And yet, they end up thrown away without thinking much. But what if these little things of everyday life get a second life? 

At the moment, I am totally drawn to everything that is organic. Pistachio shells, for example. I love their form, which is always the same and yet different. Each of them is a small individual and has a special color, is a little more arched or flatter, lighter or darker, carries purple parts, yellow or green in itself. Many of them put together, whether as sheds or in rows as on a counting board, unfold a very own effect.

Organic experimenting

The small wooden objects fascinate me in their simple form, their small soul. For several weeks now, I have been experimenting with the recycled material, laying it in cement, painting it with acrylic paint, bathing it in wax. Now, I have started to combine it with glass and pebbles. You can see what happened in the gallery above. I will post some other works in the next weeks.

Secret sources

You may ask yourself now if I have become round like a pistachio with all those kilos of them used in my mosaics? Well, I am creating all sorts of recipes with the nourishing little ones: pistachio ice cream, pistachio bread, pistachio pesto. But don’t worry: I invite people to eat it with me, so everything is fine. I invite them also to bring their pistacchio shells with them for their visit.

Pistachios and fingernails

By the way: Did you know that pistachio shells were the predecessors of artificial fingernails? In the early 19th century, many ladies of the upper class glued empty pistachios on their fingernails, which contributed to the slow spread of artificially modified nails in Europe. I am not a fan of long fingernails, but I find the approach very nice, because it shows how creatively generations before us have reused material for different needs. And I am happy to know that pistacchio shells are not only destroyers of fingernails.

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Rona Winter

    Wow! I think it is beautiful. I love it. It is a real inspiration.
    I have also started experimenting a bit with organic materials and find it is fascinating.
    Do you make any coating for the organic material so it will not dissolve over time?

    1. says: miriam

      Thank you, dear Rona! I paint the shells with acrylic paint. I tried that out with other organic material and it worked fine.

  2. says: Melanie Berry

    Have you even seen Art made from fingernail clippings? There’s a piece like that in “George Washington’s Headquarters” (a little museum in my hometown). I remember seeing it as a kid and being both fascinated and a little disgusted. I love the idea of using existing objects, especially things that would otherwise be discarded, though I prefer shells to fingernails! Thanks for your post.

    1. says: miriam

      Yes, dear Melanie, I have seen a piece made of plastic fingernails. I even think I was inspired by that work somehow. It was a russian artist, have to look that up. However, I prefer the shells, too. And the fact to recycle something natural. Thank you!

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