How To Do Gourds (Part One)
How To Do Gourds! (Part One)
My blogging friend, Skye, has shown interest in my gourds and asked if I could give some tips on how I work with them.
I will try to put together some information that might be helpful in making pretty gourd art!
I hope others of you find it interesting too!
First things first:
In the past I have grown some gourds but find we do not have the ideal climate or soil for growing them. I bought most of my gourds that I used from a grower in Alabama!
Gourds grow on a vine. There are many types and I have worked with a lot of different kinds. (I will show examples of some of them) I have used small ornamental gourds (the kind you can buy around Thanksgiving) and the bigger ones of many shapes.
The gourds have to be picked when mature and be allowed to dry out, completely, until the seeds rattle inside. This process takes several months!
Gourds can be bought cleaned and ready to use, however, most of the ones I’ve used were dried but not cleaned and ready to use!
(lol- guess I just like to do things the hard way!)
To prepare a gourd, for wood burning-carving or painting, the outside of the gourd must be cleaned and scraped to make a smooth surface.
I drape the gourd in rags soaked in white vinegar. This loosens the residue that covers the hard surface of the gourd. This process takes time (sometimes hours) and all the surface of the gourd will have to be covered.
After the vinegar has softened the covering I take a small paring knife and scrape the whole gourd, small areas at a time, until the entire covering residue is removed. The gourd can be rinsed with running water, but I never immerse in water. I do this work at my kitchen sink. ( hope you have a disposal, as this can damage the plumbing, otherwise)
The gourd must be allowed to dry at least a day, before you can begin your painting, wood burning or carving!
After the cleaning of the outside of your gourd, and after it’s dry, you may discover some spots need a little light sanding. If so, use fine sandpaper until you have the smoothness you want.
… to be continued…