Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dyeing the gourd

In my previous blog entry ( I showed you how I cleaned up a dried gourd to get it ready for turning into one of my decorated bowls. Today I took the next step, and colored the gourd.

First, I used some sandpaper and smoothed down the rim of the bowl and the lid.

Then I gathered my materials. I used several colors of leather dye, and a smidge of gold acrylic paint.

First thing I did was to dye the inside of the bowl and the lid a yellow, and let it dry. I decided that was a little bright, and put a layer of white dye over it to tone it down.

Then I used the leather dye on the gourd. I started with darker colors at the base of the bowl, and built up to lighter and lighter colors. I encouraged each color to drip down into the previous layer. I tried thinning the gold acrylic paint out with some leather dye for a glittery layer, but it just clumped up and looked icky. So I wiped that off, and tried a layer of acrylic paint thinned with water. That worked better, but the texture was still kind of thick. I got a hint of glitter gold, but I think I'll skip that experiment next time around.

When I had the color pretty much how I wanted it, I turned the gourd over a canister to dry.

After it was dry, I took a rag to it and buffed it up to smooth out the texture, and remove excess dye.

Because the acrylic paint was in there, the buffing stripped up some of the color where it was a little thick right at the rim. So, I took some sand paper and turned that into a feature.  It actually added a cool texture. No mistakes!

I checked to make sure the lid was colored in such a way that it coordinated with the bowl.

Then, I took the bowl and lid outside and gave them 4 light coats of sealant.

Next will be the fun part! I do weaving on top of these bowls to decorate the lid. I had a request for a weaving in light neutral colors: white, grey, tan, silver, and gold. I think I've figured out the accent beads and handle I want to use, and I've ordered some grey waxed linen to go along with the white and warm tan that I already have.

OK, mail, get here with my linen! I want to keep playing...


  1. Awesome!

    I have some small gourds this year. Plan on planting the larger gourds next year.

    Stopping by from Blogging Buddies


  2. Very interesting. It's turning out quite amazing. Glad I found you on the Etsy blog team.

  3. Wow! What an awesome piece and also the idea1 It turns out really good. Congratulation!


  4. Thanks for stopping by, everyone! I appreciate the positive reinforcement. It helps keep me going. :)