Hardshelled Gourds




 Gourd plants growing on vines in the sunniest part of our garden. Large beautiful flowers are pollinated and grow from tiny gourds at their base into large heavy fruits that need support before they are harvested in the fall.



 There are many varieties of hard shelled gourds that are grown around the world. On the left is a CANNONBALL gourd and on the right is a BOTTLE gourd. After harvesting in the fall they will need to dry for many months until they are light tan in colour and very much lighter in weight.The moisture inside has dried and there is a white mould covering the gourd. That should be washed off before any further decorating can be done on the gourd's wooden surface.



 My own BABY BIRD GOURD was grown in my garden one very hot summer. As the large DIPPER STYLE GOURD dried in my studio, it's shell was too thin and it began to collapse and curl around. And I thought that the mold on the outside was too interesting to wash off. So I left the natural mould and the darker markings on the surface and sprayed it completely with a clear lacquer to preserve it all. Since it really looked like a BABY BIRD, I gave it a tiny wood burned eye and added a few exotic feathers and basketry cane for delicate wings. It now graces my studio on a grapevine nest.