Many people don't know the processes involved in creating a work of art from a raw gourd. Not all artists use all the methods shown, but most use some of them.
Where do my gourds come from? I'm fortunate to live about Doesn't everyone store their raw
an hour away from a wonderful family-owned gourd farm, gourds in an unused studio bathtub?
which grows thousands of gourds of all sizes and shapes.
A lot has to happen before gourds can become artworks. Gourds are dirty, moldy, and have a "skin" that must be soaked and scraped off before the gourd can be worked on. Sanding is required to minimize the naturally-occurring pits and bumps.
Scrubbing outside Opening gourd Inside an opened gourd Tools to clean the inside "Gourd Guts!"
I use a mini jigsaw to open most gourds. The "gourd guts" are a combination of seeds and membranes that adhere to the inside walls. Resembling styrofoam, this sometimes requires a number of hand and power tools to remove, or tools in combination with soaking/scraping. Another sanding on the inside prepares the gourd for decorating inside and outside.
Some methods I use to create the design:
Pyrography, or wood burning Pyrography in progress The design woodburned and colored
Preparing area to inlay One pad of the real cactus One layer of the pad A carved design prickly pear cactus with skin removed embedded in a gourd