Shaping Gourds – Creative Gardening Techniques

I grow gourds for adventure and to use for crafting. They always add interest and variety to the garden.

There are several fun things you can do with gourds to make the garden interesting during the growing season and if you’re like me add to the gourd crafting experience later.

You can tie string around the gourds to give them ridges or shape them. I later paint or stain this area once the gourd cures or add rope and glue in place for added texture.

You can add more bumps and lumps into a Dipper, Bottle, or Kettle gourd.  If you tie a gourd when its young you can shape it into an animal form or make it circular if it’s a snake gourd.

Snake gourds are one of my favorite gourds for shaping or for making into gourd instruments. 

One of my favorite ways to alter a gourd is to tie a knot into it when its young and flexable (Be prepared to break a few). Long Handled Dipper gourds are best for this. If you tie a knot in the handle it just has a fun look when its dried. I have grown the dipper gourds up to 5 foot long and with an added knot, it stands out.

You can also link two gourds together for a different look.

I don’t do this, but my neighbor carves into the gourd shell when its growing. He doesn’t carve far enough to damage it,  just enough to add a pattern. Later he stains the gourd or adds color and creates from there. I am afraid I will carve too deep and weaken the gourd and cause it to rot so I just shape gourds.

One other thing that adds interest to the finished gourd is the pattern gourds sometimes get when they are drying. Many call this curing.

Gourds can take a long time to dry and they can get ugly looking durng this time. Depending on how much mold they get while drying will create interesting patterns.

You can keep the gourd cleaner with less natural curing designs or let the gourd go wild and the patterns can be amazing. You need to be careful around the gourds when they are drying and when you work with them. They can be toxic.

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Denise

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