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Tips from Old Millrat - James D. Thompson


Gourd Art

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I recently became aware that people do some fantastic art work on gourds. So I took a class, and have started doing some gourd work.

The simplest way to get a pattern onto a gourd is to make a copy from a book and enlarge it to the correct size. Then use Glad “Press ‘n Seal”. Apply the Press n Seal to your pattern and trace the pattern with a fine point Sharpie pen. Remove the pattern and stick it onto the gourd, then use a wood burning tool to transfer the pattern to the gourd. Scrape off the Press ‘n Seal with your fingernails.

I have also used this method to put patterns onto bowls and flat work so I can carve it.  Here is a picture of a pattern that I just put onto my gourd.

A lady in my carving club does stained glass, and she loaned me a few of her books on the subject. I decided that I could do my gourd in a style that would look like stained glass. That would mean that all the subject matter would need to be textured and brightly colored.

To accentuate this color scheme I decided to pierce the area around the pattern.

There are any number of color schemes to use inside a gourd. To prep the inside I painted it with 2 heavy coats of white glue, followed by 2 different colors of spray paint. I then used several other colors, applied with a piece of natural sponge. The effect is sort of like metal.

Now that the piercing was done it needed some color in the background. Most of the colors used on this piece are ink dyes purchased from Welburn Gourd Farms.  WWW.welburngourdfarms.com

I wanted panels on either side of the pattern that would reinforce the idea of stained glass.

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