Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Gourd Experiment

Bear with me on this one. I haven't the foggiest idea what I'm doing and where it will lead. I've got this giant gourd that has been growing over by the rabbit pens. One of the community garden volunteers found it this morning. The gourd is already mature, and due to the constant wet, was starting to rot on its skin. But what a beauty this gourd is! What potential! I'd like to see if I can do something with it. 

Our local gourd artist told be that this gourd variety is usually has a thin shell, thus its not a high quality art gourd. That's fine with me. I'd feel bad if I destroyed a good quality gourd, so I'm glad I'll be working on a practice gourd. She also told me that the outer skin needs to be removed prior to staining or wood burning this gourd. I got the impression that gourds are normally dried before one works with them, but being ignorant of "proper gourd technique", I'm going to do some work on this gourd right now. 

Much of the skin on the lower half of the gourd was wet, slimy, slippery, and sloughing off. By rubbing a very, very dull blade over the gourd, the brown skin was easily removed. 

In fact, the brown stuff came off in long ribbons. 

As I worked, I kept rinsing off the loose stuff so that I could see what I missed. 

Once I got a section cleaned of the sloughing, rotting skin, I'd rub it with a pot scrubber to get off any little bits I might have missed. As I rubbed, I flushed it with water. 

I think it was coming along really nicely. Once I got all the brown skin off, I then worked on the lighter colored skin on the upper half of the gourd. This skin hadn't started to rot yet, but it was very easy to scrape off with the dull blade. 

The gourd itself was hard. This skin was soft. Scraping was easy. 

It took me 30 minutes to completely clean the surface. But then, I didn't really know what I was doing or what to expect. I bet I could have completed the whole job in 15 minutes. 

Now what? Time to consult with the gourd artist. 

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