Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gourd, part 1 (work in progress)

It is a new month, which means I feel like starting on a new type of project. And since the heat is starting to break enough that I can work outside for a half hour or so at a time, I figured it was time to break into the gourd stash. A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to find a gourd grower that was going out of business, and was unloading stock. I literally filled my van with dried gourds, and have been slowly working my way through the piles since then. My shed out back is stuffed!

Anyway, this morning I trotted out to the shed and grabbed the first gourd that came to hand. I took it inside, wrapped it in a wet towel, and let it sit for an hour or so to loosen up the dirt and waxy coating that is on the outside of the gourd.

After the gourd had soaked for awhile, I took a copper kitchen scrubby to it. It took a bit of elbow grease, but I removed the waxy coating.

Then I took the gourd out to the garage, and put on my breathing mask. You don't want to get the gunk inside a gourd into your lungs! I cut open the gourd, scooped out the insides, then spent some while sanding things out until I had a nice neat inside.

Back in the studio, I dyed the inside of the gourd with dark brown leather dye.

Then I grabbed four more colors of leather dye, and had fun with the outside of the gourd.

I left the gourd to dry for awhile, then came back and buffed the excess dye off with an old towel. That towel will never be clean again.

My daughter snapped a picture of me buffing the gourd.

After I had the excess dye off, I sprayed three (four?) light coats of matte clear finish on the outside of the gourd.

And now, my canvas is ready. Tomorrow, I get to play with the finishing touches. Maybe some wood burning around the rim? Or a waxed linen wrap? I want to attach that stone disk and metal bead on the top middle for a handle. And I think some teneriffe weaving in waxed linen on the top might look spiffy. Maybe with some extra beads strung on the warp threads. Hmmm... Still pondering.


  1. WOW! That is really neat! I'm sure when you are done with it it will be quite fabulous! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Thanks, folks! I'm off to the Bead Museum, to look for some focal beads for the top of the gourd. More later. :)