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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 5
usagirl Offline OP
OP Offline
Just so you know... it was suggested to us by Daniel from Tanisha Tours that we NOT buy the highly POLISHED souvenir carvings, rather, to buy the UNFINISHED and finish them at home as the difference in temperature and humidity might cause them to crack. DID WE LISTEN? NO!!! Our lovely carving that we bought at Bomba Village 4 weeks ago is on its way to falling apart from long cracks running through it. We should have listened. Has anyone else had this problem? Have you had it with unfinished items?

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 55
We bought some polished carvings back in Jan. and as of yet, they haven't cracked. I don't know what the summer will bring, because we live in Mississippi, and it is quite humid that time of year.......y'all!

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 13
I have this problem all the time with artwork from other countries. I bought a wood carving in Guatemala that has huge cracks all through it. Their humididty levels are so different that they crack here in our dry winters. I don't think it matters where you finish it. My guess is it would crack either way. You could fill the cracks with wood putty and sand it but since I like antiques I just think it adds a nice age look to the piece.

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 381
I've had mine since 1992 and it looks just as it did when I purchased it -- finished!

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,733
What happens with the wood carvings that causes them to crack, is the rapid change in humidity. Going from 100% humidity to probably around 20 to 30% in the US when we have our heat on in the winter. If you allow the wood to gradually adjust to the change in humidity, it will not get the cracks. This can be done by placing the wood in a plastic bag with a couple slices of apples. The moisture in the apples gradually replaces the loss of moisture in the wood. After the wood absorbs the moisture from the two slices of apples, replace with one slice. When that moisture is absorbed, the wood should be able to handle the normal invirenment of your home.

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 2,090
If you bought the pieces unfinished, couldn't you rub them with lemon oil or something to keep the wood moisturized? My son bought some wooden masks in Guatamala on our trip. (He collects them) One was finished one wasn't. We live on the coast, so it's humid here and we haven't had a problem, but I know we had to oil the hell out of our wood items when we lived in New Mexico. The humidity level sometimes would drop as low as 7%!!!!!

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