Amazing Gourd Crafts, you will love. Just when you think there isn't one more arts
and craft project, you want to get involved in! This is so
intriguing, you won't be able to resist trying it.
If you are near Casa Grande, Arizona and you love arts and crafts, don't miss a trip to Wuertz farm. Here, you will see thousands of dried gourds, waiting to be made into various projects. After a trip here, I couldn't wait to get started!
What will have you even more excited to try your own gourd crafts? The gourd festival! It is held every year in early February, at Pinal county
fairgrounds. This is a must see event with Vendor booths set up, selling their
decorated gourds. This goes way beyond your regular arts and crafts project; it
is Art, at it's finest.
The place is filled with incredible artists, selling their
exquisite, hand decorated gourds. Bowls, teapots, lamps and wall sconces, are
just a few of the projects available. There are even purses!
A very special Thank You to the artists, who were generous enough to allow me to share their fantastic Gourd Art.
These beautiful pieces are from Danielle. Check out more of her art at: Gourd Art By Danielle.
This fabulous lamp was made by Eduardo Falcon. See more of his gourd art at: Sunrise Designs.
The butterfly and flower gourd was done by Phyllis Sickles. You can see more of her incredible art work at: www.gourdvisions.com
The various techniques used to decorate the gourds, must take years to master. Designs can be painted, dyed, carved and burned. Burning can be done with a wood burner or zapped with electricity. The zapping technique, is like some crazy science experiment. It usually produces a unique lightening type design, occasionally resulting in fire and explosions. Sounds a bit dangerous, doesn't it?
The Arizona gourd society hosts an annual competition during the festival, featuring 7 divisions and 50 categories, ranging from beginners to masters. The largest gourd society in the United States is in California and the Arizona society comes in second.
There are gourd crafts to bring out the fun, whimsical side of the festival. The place is filled with creative and imaginative ideas.
The miniature horse with the gourd cowboy was adorable.
There are games such as "shufflegourd" and displays, using a play on words, "In gourds we trust" and "The national gourd."
Here's the "kindergourdon" Teacher and her students.
Be careful you don't get "gourd" by the life size, gourd bull! He's made entirely of gourds and that's NO bull!
As you leave, you will even see a stack of gourds that say "gourdbye"
Want to decorate your own gourd? You can buy everything you could possibly need at the festival. Everyone seems eager to help, so you can become a master gourd artist, too!
Gourds need to be dried, before using. The ones you buy from Wuertz farm, have already been dried. They also have cleaned gourds available, for a bit more money. The ones that haven't been cleaned, have mold spots on them, which will have to be cleaned off. This can be a problem, especially for anyone suffering from allergies. Even if you don't have allergies, a mask is an absolute necessity, when preparing the gourd.
Soak the gourd for about 20 minutes in a Rubbermaid container of warm water with a couple cap fulls of bleach. The gourd will want to float, so it helps to have something heavy to weight it down.
Time to put on the dust mask. Use a wire scrubby to clean off the moldy outer layer. I held the gourd in the water to try to minimize the amount of mold spores, becoming airborne.
You will notice as you scrub, the color of the shell will darken slightly. Keep scrubbing until the white and black blotches are completely gone.
Rinse with clean water and let dry.
Now, you will need to decide which gourd crafts, you want to do. I bet, you will decide to do a bunch of different ones. If this is the case, do all the cleaning at once. (I did three at a time.)
Please do not attempt to copy other Artists work! Most, is so intricate, it's not possible, but don't even try. It's just not polite.
Some gourds are left intact, others are cut open. If you are making a thunder gourd, the bottom will be removed. The seeds will need to be removed and the inside layer scraped out. There are various tools that can be used to do this. It's easy, to make your own.
After a visit to the gourd festival, there couldn't possibly be an artist alive, who wouldn't want to try their hand at their own gourd crafts!
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