Trading tips for gutting, transferring, and carving the real thing.
I always soak mine in water for an hour or two a day with bleach. Even the most shriveled carve seems to come back to its original form. I would certainly save the most intricate carves for last since if they shrivel too much, you may get a break in the carve, then no matter how long you soak them, the break isn't going to repair itself.