Gourd art~the steps to completion

I have been working on a woven gourd art piece over the past week or so.

It takes a day for each section to complete.

It starts with cleaning the gourd then cutting the appropriate holes and drilling holes for weaving.

Next is hand drawing my design on with pencil, often drawing designs on paper first. This part take time, not all designs work or “look right”, so usually many are drawn before I choose one.

Once a design had been decided, I draw it free hand with pencil onto the cleaned gourd.

Next I bring out my wood burning tool. The brand I chose to purchase is Razertip. This model is able to moderate the heat and tips can be changed. I burn over all of the pencil lines, sometimes adding shading in areas. This process is called “pyrography”.



Next I weave the top with pine needles which I have harvested from my property. They are sorted and soaked prior to weaving. I like to use raffia which is a natural palm product for weaving.

Though the raffia is finicky to use,  having to also soak and easily breaking, therfore  much twisting of the fibres is involved.

Finally, I paint on the colour. I use acrylic paint as the colours blend nicely.





During this project I had to step away for a few days prior to painting to “let the colours come to me”.

After a couple of day, I finally  “could see them” and began.

It takes a few “passes” or “layers” with the painting, adding or filling each time, bringing more depth and warmth to the colouring.

Once satisfied, the gourd is set to completely dry before spraying with an indoor water based varathane spray for protection.




While the gourd dries, I cut and cold forge the copper stand. I use a big anvil that sits on the edge of my deck outside. My tools are a mini sledge hammer and a few smaller tools such as pliers for bending the copper into shape.






The finished product!



Click to see more gourd art!









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