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Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Beauty of Flaws

Almost every gourd has some sort of flaw in the way of a crack, a wart, or a flat spot where it had been laying on the ground.  But for many gourd artists these are the gourds they go looking for at the gourd farm. Because it is these very flaws that add character and interest to a gourd. I call them 'character flaws'.

Cracks can be laced up or used as doorways and windows.  Indentations can be used as a place to inset a special stone or gem. Lumps and bumps can indicate facial features, animal horns, or distressed marks.

Severely damaged gourds can still be cut into bits to use for pendants, earrings, or parts to add on to other gourds as ears, beaks, or feet. Let your imagination roam free as to how best to use your 'character flaws'.

Canteen gourd with interesting cracks.

This burl like texture was from the gourd resting on the ground.

This is a sock monkey swing.
The gourd had a crack that was decorated and strenghtened using artificial sinew.

The back of the gourd was very thin so I cut it out to form this window for the monkey's tail.

Here is the jester monkey sitting in his gourd swing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quick Demo w/ Brewer's Pitch

Use great care when working with melted brewer's pitch. It was so hot steam was coming out of the gourd and one stray drop melted a hole right through the plastic drop cloth underneath.

Working With Brewer's Pitch

Vessels holding fluid work better if coated with something. Here we used brewer's pitch to coat the inside of some gourd pitchers.