Thursday, June 10, 2010

Decorating Gourds

Remember that lump under a towel in my last post? Well, I got around to working on it last night and today. That towel hid a gourd, that I had soaking in order to make it easier to scrub down.

Dried gourds have a waxy coating on them, that needs to be scrubbed off before you can play with decorating the gourd. Hot water, a copper kitchen scrubbie, and lots of elbow grease did the job. Then after the gourd dried back out again, I took it out to the garage, put on my dust mask, and cut the lid off and scooped out the insides.

I was busy during the day today, but this evening I got back to working on the gourd. I'm planning on doing some teneriffe weaving on the lid, using waxed linen. I drilled holes around, so I could warp up my gourd after I got it dyed. Drilling before coloring means the dye can sink into the holes, and they are not so bright.

Then I grabbed my black leather dye, and darkened the inside of the gourd. Tip to the wise: put down tarps, because you might be as messy as I was. Leather dye drips. Leather dye also makes a gawd awful mess when you slip and knock the open bottle of dye, sending it flying. Off the tarp, of course. Rags and rubbing alcohol got most of it back off the tile...but dye, well, dyes things. I was Not Amused.

After I calmed back down, I decided that I really needed to finish up the dyeing process tonight, while it was still cool enough to have the windows open. It is over 100F here during the day in Arizona, so having the windows open is not terribly pleasant then. But leather dye (and rubbing alcohol) stinks, and the fumes can leave me light headed if I don't take precautions. So color happened, and the gourd is drying. Tomorrow I'll get to the weaving part. More pictures later!

Oh, and what did I do during the day while I couldn't have the window open? Finished up another Viking wire woven necklace. This one is of copper, and is 18" long. I used 7 colors of Delica seed beads to make the spiraling peyote stitched slide bead. It is fun having a stash to dip into, so I can play with the colors! More colors, of course, would be better. But I am resisting the temptation to decide that I need little vials of all the various of Delica beads. No matter how much fun that would be, and how many neat items I could make. Why? There are I think hundreds of different colors and finishes! But oh, the temptation...


  1. Very cool!

    What a beautiful end product!

  2. Love the gourd. And everything else you do. 8-]

  3. Stay tuned--I'm weaving on the gourd with waxed linen and beads this afternoon. This is the fun part!