Confessions of a Gourdomaniac

Actually, I have nothing to confess – I’m a gourdomaniac and proud of it!

Here’s my latest.  It’s small (the gourd is 4″ tall) and the gourd plays a minor role, really serving only as a base for the polymer clay otters.

The gourd doesn’t open.  But I did cut it in half at the “waist” so that I could remove the seeds and add ballast then glued the two halves back together.  For ballast, I mixed sand with acrylic pouring medium and put about 1 1/2″ in the bottom.  The base of the gourd is small (I sanded it flat, by the way) and the otters are relatively big so I was concerned about stability.

This is one HARD gourd.  Carving the grooves for the strands of beads was a real challenge.  I started with hand tools – a knife and a small gouge – because I thought I would have better control of them. But after struggling for an hour or so, I realized I’d need power, so I got out the Dremel tool.  It was difficult to control, especially over the uneven extra-hard patches of the gourd’s surface, but I didn’t have a choice if I wanted grooves.

Before the carving, I had painted the entire gourd with an interference green acrylic but once I did the carving, I didn’t like the paint.  It made the uneven edges of the grooves too obvious.  When I tried to sand the paint off it was highly resistent.  But I realized that I liked the mottled look and left it at that.

The silver spot is metal leaf.  It’s supposed to represent the reflection of the moon in the water.

I think the bead “coralling” is a pretty good suggestion of water.

I’d like to put a fish in her mouth.  (She’s the one at the top, with the gold necklace.)  I have a nice little Swarovski crystal one and could glue it on a wire ending in her mouth.  But I’m hoping to find some very stiff plastic line (fishing line, maybe) that will be less obvious.  So that’s a detail for the future.

Meanwhile, I think this is a fun little piece.


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