Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Gourd art fun part 1


With the storm raging and king tides the only road to go East is shut down. The last little place out of town is call Cushman. Part of the road is below sea level and floods all the time. It has been like this for decades. Yeah, I know, why not fix it!  

With all of that I decided to started some gourdy people. For these projects I am going to show how I make my gourd people two different ways. One with clay and one with paper mache. My clay was a bit dry and very cold so it was hard to get it started. For those of you who don't know, clay can come back to life by taking clay chunks and placing them into a plastic bag. Make sure there are no holes in the bag add water and tie off the bag. 

Allow this to sit for 24 hours and your clay in back.
So let's get started

This is a gourd top. When I used to do competitions one of the rules was to leave the stem of the gourd so the judges knew it was a gourd.  Excuse the face in the background. A different project for another time.


 Once the gourd is cleaned I sand the outside so the clay will adhere to it better. Then Simply take strips of clay and start covering the gourd top. I roll the strips so the clay has an even thickness all around.

 I leave the bottom clean so the gourd can sit evenly. I will paint this later.


Now that the gourd is covered give it a good spray of water.


Wrap it in a damp towel.

  Then place a plastic bag over it. This will keep the clay supple until I am ready to work on it.


This gourd top is cut at the bottom and painted. I was going to use it for something else and didn't.


 I have hundreds of paper grocery bags. Why? Because I forget my bags in the car when I go shopping, so I have to pay for more each time. This is a new thing in my town, so I forget. Anyway, tear strips of bags and set aside. Get a container of water, about 3 cups or so and add white glue to the water. Maybe 3/4 cup. Mix it up.


Add the strips and get them soaking.



 Then strip by strip cover the gourd top. Tear the strips small as needed.


Once the gourd top is covered set aside to dry. Do not hurry the process with a heat gun or hair dryer, or the paper will pull away.



 Pour the remaining glue water into a container with a good seal lid and save for later. I got this jar from the $ store.





 I am hoping to work on these tomorrow.
I know this is not a detailed tutorial so if you have any 
questions drop them in the comments.
Be Safe Out There And Wear A Mask

Honor and integrity in art, in life. 


  1. ...as a kid I loved paper mache and of course fingerpaint. I've always been messy!

  2. Thanks for sharing these processes so far.

  3. No questions, you explained very well :-)
    Looking forward to see the finished artwork, never knew of gourd tops before!

    Yikes with the roads!

  4. Thanks! Detailed enough for me at 8 am! 😂

  5. I have never done this so it's very exciting to see it. I remember some faces of yours on gourds-they were amazing! I've got a pile of those bags too, for the same reason. Is that paper harder to apply than newsprint? I know it's a bit heavier. Do you let it soak for a while in the glue water? And do you have to contend with mold on the paper surface when it's drying?

  6. I like the images and description of your process. I enjoyed the papier maché I did as a child and always thought it'd be a fun technique to try again.

  7. Amazing work. I know you saw my attempted gourd art and yesterday, before it was finished, I dropped the heavy paper cutter on top of it and now Dolly Parton is destroyed.

  8. You have a whole lot of patience. Fantastic work and can't wait to see if finished.

  9. Boa tarde minha querida amiga, a escultura é maravilhosa, parabéns.

  10. Really interesting post Nicole. I am fascinated with gourd art and one day might give it a try so I learned a lot!

  11. Thanks for sharing this process Nicole! So cool! I hope you are ok, with the storm! Big Hugs!

  12. Interesting to see how it's all developing, girl! 👌🏻

    Step by step. 🙂