Friday, September 23, 2011

Teneriffe weaving on the gourd lid

I've been busy modeling for life drawing classes this week, so I haven't made as much progress on the gourd as I wanted to. But here's what I've been up to. (Check out the previous steps in this project here:
Cleaning a gourd:
Dyeing a gourd: )

My first step was to find a handy circular guide, and with a pencil lightly mark out where I wanted to drill holes.

Then I drilled two rows of holes with my little hand drill.

I pulled out some waxed linen that was similar in color to the gourd lid, and measured out about 5 yards. I tied a knot in one end that was too big to slip through the holes...

...and then threaded it through one of the holes from the backside of the lid. (I glued that hairline crack, so it wouldn't be a structural issue. The crack doesn't go through to the front anyway--looks much worse than it is. But I'm careful.)
I took a moment, and strung a few beads onto the waxed linen. My needle was too big to fit through the holes, but luckily I could take the needle off and just pop them over the end of the thread.
I rethreaded my needle, and took the thread down into the hole directly across the way.
I came up in the next door hole, and went directly across the center again to the other side.

I repeated this step, building a web across the gourd lid. I had put an odd number of holes in the circle, so the last thread went just halfway across, and came up just beyond the center junction.

The warp is now in place, and I'm ready to weave. I started weaving over under, going around the center junction.

I snugged the thread down tight, making a circle.

If you'll notice, that circle is a little off center. To work around that, I went back and forth now and again in addition to round and round, until I had a nicely centered circle.

It doesn't look exactly perfect, but I wasn't worried since my next step was to sew down the knob that allows me to pick up the lid.

Now I buried the end of the gourd colored thread, and added in a contrasting circle of grey to make the handle pop visually.

Now, the fun part begins. I weave under/over, back and forth with the waxed linen, just kind of doodling on the web. I have no real plan charted out. You can chart out lovely patterns, but I'm just playing here with a free-form design.

I decided that my design might change depending on what the rim treatment was going to look like, so I added grey linen for a visual pop. It is whip stitched going around one direction all around. Then I reversed direction and whip stitched going the other direction all around, letting the stitches cross at the rim to make a neat V pattern.

And that is as far as I've gotten tonight. Next up is more doodling with the waxed linen in a free-form design. And maybe another row of gray V's on the rim of the bowl in addition to the ones of the lid. Still deciding on that. I'll probably wait to decide until I get the lid done, and see what it needs from there.


  1. Your gourd is really looking great! I love how organic your design looks.

  2. I'm having fun! The design is kind of developing as I go. I have no idea how it is going to turn out, but I'm loving it so far. I'm currently weaving in some open grey triangles. Stay tuned for a 'finished' picture in the next few days.

  3. That is cool! Stopping by from Blogging Buddies


  4. Melissa,

    Your gourd is stunning...reminds me of a beautiful piece of jewelry.


  5. Just found you through Pinterest. Thanks for sharing. I have a dozen large, dry gourds I've been holding on to for, literally, more than 10 years! I keep thinking one of these days I'm going to do something with those...your's has inspired me. I see gourd crafting in my future!

  6. Part of the gold color thread looks like waxed linen, while part of it looks metallic. Is that just a quirk of the photography? Saw you are in the SW, have you been to the Wuertz gourd festival in Casa Grande, AZ? Bonnie Gibson -