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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Looped Gourd

One way to embellish a gourd is by looping it with wire or thread. So here is a gourd I just started working on.  I've never tried embroidery thread and it seems to be going a lot slower than when I used linen or hemp. I'll have to keep you posted on how it's coming along.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Making a Gourd Scoop

When I flipped this warty gourd over it had a crack running horizontally through it.

So I decided to cut it in half and keep the good half to make a scoop.

Since the warts make it look interesting, I'm leaving it as it is.

When you purchase gourds, clean them well, make sure they are dry, and store them indoors in a cool dry place.  This gourd was left outside in the weather and when I flipped it over it had a long vertical crack.  I was able to cut it in half and use the good part for a scoop.
Even though many cultures have used gourds for centuries to eat from I think I'll just use this for non-food uses, like scooping lavender into sachets or scooping birdseed into juggling balls. Some people are allergic to gourd dust, so I'd hate to sell it to someone and have them use it to scoop their oatmeal or flour and then have an allergic reaction. But that's a whole 'nother subject.

Turning a Gourd Into a Pouch

My friend Sal gets the credit for this next project.  It's based on a gourd he brought back from Mexico. See the photo of it at the top of the page.

For this project I needed a gourd that could be turned into a little bowl. The first one I picked up had a good shape, but when I flipped it over it had a long lengthwise crack.  Rats.  But I figured I could save half of it and make a scooper for birdseed or lavender or something.

But I'm glad I kept looking because then I found a gourd in my stash that was a twofer. I was able to cut it in half and make 2 bowls.  I used my gourd saw, but a hand saw would have worked.

After I cleaned it inside and out, and sanded it, I drilled holes around the rim with a Dremel drill. Then I did pyrography petroglyphs. In other words, I used a wood burning tool to draw 2 lizards in a petroglyph style. And on the other bowl I put a cat line drawing.  I thought part of the appeal was to keep it really basic and primitive looking.  My boyfriend looked at them and said, "The art is too basic." Sigh. We always have different visions for things.  Simplistic was my goal. I feel like the crochet is going to add yet another element, so I wanted to keep the art basic. 

Next I will apply a clear finish over the art, because when I do the crochet part, I don't want the overspray to go on the string. If you look at the photos this will make a lot more sense. I think I am done with this project for today so stay tuned.

Cleaned bottle gourd.

The top and the bottom of the gourd.  I saved the middle part for another project.

I used a drill to put the holes for the thread to go through.

lizard and cat in pyrograpyhy