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Actually I use sand bags I made from the sleeves of an old t-shirt I got at the Goodwill to brace all the gourds I am working on, whether carving, drilling or sanding etc. And thanks for the gorgeous comment. *
Ooh, so nice! Hmmm, my DIL is doing some hemp jewelry making, and I am growing more gourds this year. I see a possible collaboration over the winter with this method. Helenchild, you are quite the artist. If that is your first attempt at coiling, Your next ones should be gallery ready. Very Beautiful.
Jo, I use ink dyes mostly for coloring my gourds. I use to use leather dye but they fade badly.
Thank you scarletbean for the nice comments. Have fun with your new projects. Remember though, the gourds you grow this year won't be ready to craft until probably next spring. They usually take that long to cure.
Yep, I just put out the birdhouse I grew last year. Those are the seeds I planted this year for next year's gourd projects. Does the leather dye fade even with a polyurethane top coat? and what about regular old acrylic paint? I got a cheap-o set at a yard sale thinking it might work ok for my birdhouses with a poly over it. What do you think? I dont mind if they dont last for more than a season or so.
That is ok. It's funny, last year I grew gourds for the first time, and the seeds I bought were slow and undependable germinators, I thought I was so lucky to get them to grow and was overjoyed when they bloomed and set fruit. I just figured they were tricky to grow and i'd have trouble all the time. This year, I used the seeds from the ones I grew and boy, they all germinated and are just very robust. I must have dropped some, because seeds are sprouting near my work table. So, FRESHNESS is the key. Do you agree? the store bought envelope must have been old.
The intricacy of coiling is really time consuming. I think this may be a project for someone more advanced than me. I am still getting around to painting mine. I will do the poly over the acrylic and just see what happens.
Join the American Gourd Society and your state organization too. Then you can go to local meetings in your area. They are called Patch Meetings where other gourd artists, both beginners and advanced get together to work on gourd art projects. The one I go to is fun. We meet once a month and have a pot luck lunch and work on a gourd project. Someone with the skill will teach the rest of us how to do a particular skill. Thats where I learned coiling and it really isn't difficult.
Also there is a website that has tons of information. Its free and you can learn a lot there.