We try to grow as many of our own gourds as possible.
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.
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.