When I'm out in Colorado with my family, I love my time in the studio...a chance to be in there with my Dad, my daughter, if I'm lucky, Emma...while I did do some drawing and printmaking, I also tried my hand again with gourds. I adapted an idea from Bonnie Gibson's book Gourd: Southwest Gourd Techniques and Projects.
I used a whole gourd and the tops of several others to begin my barrel cactus project. The dried gourds are fairly easy to cut through, a keyhole saw, an exacto knife and small files are handy to have. Also, don't forget to wear a dust mask while you're cutting, cleaning and filing. The gourds are full of seeds and a type of mold that isn't good to breath in.
The clean and filed pieces...
At this point, the instructions called for painting the individual pieces but I chose to wood burn some simple lines. (These are NOT my "man" hands..thanks Dad for the demo!)
I used Eco-Flo leather dyes from Tandy to color the cactus base and flowers. An awl and a little white glue made it easy to attach the flowers to the cactus. I added a few toothpick "thorns" and a spray coat of acrylic and it was done!
Dad's gourd...he wove pine needles around the top and used leather dyes sprayed with alcohol to give it the interesting color and patina.
This is a painted gourd I made a couple of years ago. I used turquoise earrings for the hummingbird's eyes and self-adhesive copper tape for the rim.
A pueblo gourd, wood burned and painted. I also drilled little star holes in the back and painted the inside so it could be used as a votive holder.
A buggy gourd with a beaded rim...