Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gourd, part 2 (work in progress)

Today was day two on the decorative gourd. I started the day by popping over to the Bead Museum (, with the goal of visiting their store for a few focal beads to add some bling to the top of the gourd. While I was there, I had to go through the museum too. I wish they allowed photographs! Oh my, was there some beautiful work present. And historical beads, dating back to thousands BC. I think my favorite was an ancient Egyptian mummy face, peyote stitched of faience beads. I did a recreation of those faces for an arts competition several years ago, so to see one in person was a huge treat!

I found my beads, then came back home and got back to work on the gourd. Here is what I've been up to this afternoon:

I decided the base of the gourd needed some definition around the rim. Gourds respond pretty well to wood burning, so that is what I used. That completes the bowl part of the gourd.

Most of the decoration goes in the lid. I started by drilling holes in the lid.

Then I grabbed some waxed linen, in a color that blended with the dye work. That got strung through the holes, making a web.

I prestrung the beads while I was warping my gourd. Once I had the warp in place, I started weaving over/under, around and around the center where the waxed linen crossed.

Once I got the circle big enough, I sewed on a stone disk and a large hollow brass bead. This serves as a handle for the lid.

I lost a saw blade's width worth of material when I was cutting the gourd open, so the lid wasn't sitting quite right. I added a rim treatment in black waxed linen. It is both decorative, and makes sure the lid won't fall into the bowl.

Tomorrow, I continue the weaving on the top. I'm planning a kind of free form weave, in red, black, and green waxed linen. We'll see how it turns out. This part I kind of play by ear, doodling with the thread and making it up as I go.


  1. Thanks. :) I just posted a new entry, with pictures of the finished product. These are such fun to do!