August 7, 2008

Gourd Creature Class

My niece and nephew Paige and Brody arrived to spend the day with Grandma. My mom and I live in the same apartment building so it's natural that I get to spend some time with them as well. After a trip to the Dollar Store and Harvey's for the world's best hamburger (IMHO, ketchup, mayo, onion, hot peppers and extra pickle thank you very much!!) and a trip to the Dairy Queen we started a craft project.

This time out it was critters made with gourds. I explained about different kinds of gourds and let them see and hold them, I talked about how gourds grow, what's inside, how they dry and grow into different shapes. If I get a chance I'll take them out to the Gourd Farm I go to. Northern Dipper out nears Cookstown (Barrie) ON. I took a class out there in April and had a blast! If you're in the area look them up. Their class schedule is posted on their website.

Paige and Brody had a look through my Gourd book, (Making Gourds and Spirit Dolls by Ginger Summitt and Jim Widess, published by SterlingPublishing) and looked at some other gourds I had in different styles and then decided what they wanted to do. I gave them each some paper to draw what they kind of wanted it to look like. The Gourds we used were small egg shaped gourds. Small gourds like these and the Banana gourd are thin shelled and easy to drill and great for craft projects.

We then talked about the pose, and accessories... Brody wanted his to have a Lacrosse stick and baseball hat,
Paige's fish needed fins and big lips... so we worked out how we needed to do that.

I decided to do a Humpty Dumpty.

I had them drill holes into their gourds for wire limbs to be added. We taped them in place and started adding apoxie sculpt. I talked about how the apoxie was a chemical reaction that started when you mixed the two part together. We talked about how it changed the way it reacted as it got older and how long we had to work with it.

Once we let them dry we went back to paint and varnish them. I think they did a great job don't you?

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