Welcome to My Gourden!

Come on in and sit a while. The gourden is always changing so be sure to visit often.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What next?

My studio has been empty a lot lately. I have excuses aplenty for why I can’t seem to get anything done. “The grandkids take up too much of my time.” “My husband always seems to need me to be elsewhere.” “The new baby that Heather has brought into the family is keeping us all busy.” I could go on for hours but it would not change the fact that I am the reason that the studio is empty. I have no idea where my art is going. (or maybe where it has gone) I see wonderful glass items by Villa Design (http://www.etsy.com/shop/villadesign) or the beautiful jewelry made by Anna Ourth(http://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnaOurthJewelry) and my gourds look stale in comparison. How can something that I have always seen as such a living art form now look so lifeless? The beauty being created by Gloria’s Gourd Art (http://www.gloriasgourdart.com/) often takes my breath away yet when I try to sketch a new project all I can produce are endless spirals on the page. Is it time to take a break and hope to come back with fresh ideas? Should I try working with yet another new medium? My studio cabinets testify to the large variety of mediums I have sampled already! Just ask- I have it in there somewhere. Maybe I just need more time. To think. To plan. To get into a project so deep that I forget that time exists. Any ideas? Why didn’t I think of that!? Yep! You talked me into it! I’M TAKING TOMORROW OFF. If anyone is looking for me—I’ll be in my studio.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Autumn Leaf Gourd Bowl Tutorial

Autumn Leaf Gourd Bowl 1. Raw Gourd
We try to grow as many of our own gourds as possible. 2. Cleaned
After a year of drying I wet them and wrap them in plastic wrap to soften the outer layer of dirt and skin so that it will scrub of easily. 3. Cut, inside cleaned and outside sanded
I have never had much luck with sandpaper for smoothing the inside of gourd bowls. I have gone back to the Native American method of sanding with fist sized sandstone rocks. They are easy to hold and fit the contour of the bowl. 4. Inside Sealed I seal the inside of the bowl to cut down on the gourd dust and the sealer soaks into the shell making it stronger. On this project I used a commercial stain and sealer. Be careful not to use too much as the stain will seep through to the outside of a thin shelled gourd. 5. Wood Burned
At this point in the process I burn on the leaves, and some shading and start to carve away the excess shell around the rim with my gourd saw. I then use a sander and diamond burs in my Dremel to refine the detail along the rim. 6. Background Color
A solid coat of gourd dye (in this case Olive colored) is put on the entire bowl and allowed to dry over night. The edge of the rim was painted black with acrylic paint. 7. Color and Shading
Now the color is added to the leaves. Greens can be used for spring and bright colors for fall. The same process can be used for Holly and Poinsettia for the winter Holidays. 8. Sealed The bowl can be sealed with more Stain and Varnish or a clear water based sealer. I like the way that the stain pulls all of the colors together and gives the bowl a mellow glow.

Friday, October 5, 2012

To Post or not to Post…THAT is the question

Once again I am trying something new. This week I started posting (almost) step by step pictures of a gourd bowl on my AngelsGourden page on Facebook. The pictures have been received very well. Quite a few people are sharing them which is fantastic! I have a few friends and family members who are quick to “Like” any art that I post but most of the time the photos do not get “Shared” with the Facebook world. I even got some feedback when I asked a question about the amount of color on the piece. Now my question is…Should I start the picture series with a “raw” gourd or should I do as I did this week and start with a gourd that has already been cleaned, cut, and sanded? The first few steps of the process are not very photogenic but they are a very necessary part of the creative process. The last few steps are usually where all of the interesting details and colors appear. I also want to take into account the number of pictures that I post. I do not want to overwhelm the Facebook Wall with a million “look at me” pictures and alienate my few followers. So readers I ask this question of you… Do I post the whole creative process or just the “pretty” parts? Thank you. Ag