The Gourd Art Process...

I start with the raw, mold-covered gourd...

The outside and the inside of the gourd need to be cleaned--it's time-consuming and very messy...

The stages of the carved cholla treasure gourds...

After cleaning the inside, painting the designated area outside, the skin of the gourd is removed in the marked off area and the design is drawn in pencil showing which areas will be carved (recessed) and not.

Planning is crucial to the final product. Positive and negative space is all pre-determined. 

Many techniques go into each gourd--this one includes carving, wood burning, cactus inlay, copper patina and stone inlay.

This scallop shell is carved out of the wall of the gourd and is not applied. A true 2-part copper patina is added for a copper shell effect.

The inner fiber of the prickly pear cactus provides a wonderful textural effect, but you can't buy it! I hand process (with thick gloves and metal tongs!) all of the fiber that I use and carve out a space and inlay it into the gourd.

Baking pine needles

All of my  pine needles come from the eastern United States and are very long (typically 13-17"). I bake all of them in glycerin water (and dye if I am dyeing them also) for 4 hours and then dry them for 3-4 days. This creates not only beautiful, luscious pine needles, but they are supple and will not break as they are used. I am stitching a pine needle rim on the gourd in this photo while encompassing a naturally shed white-tail deer antler.

This gourd includes painting, pine needle weaving (including a fancy netted stitch), sea grass, waxed linen and a sliced walnut in which I inlaid crushed turquoise.

My unique gourd painting technique.

Beads enhancing the inside as well as outside of the gourd.

Techniques here include painting, cloisonne, wood burning, carved coral impression, egg-shell mosaic, inlaid cactus fiber, pine needle weaving (including natural and dyed pine needles), sea grass, waxed linen and large pyrite (the mineral) beads. (An added note:  most all beads I use I have to hold under water and re-drill the holes because all of the holes are too small for the waxed linen and needles that I use.) 

EVERY detail is important to me in creating a quality product for you to enjoy!

A beautiful icicle agate natural stone completes this beautiful gourd.

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