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I have recently bought some Ammonites and gemstones that I'd like to embed into a gourd.  Can anyone tell me the best way to embed a fossil that has a curved back into a gourd?

I also bought some cabochons and would like to suspend them from an opening in a gourd, does anyone know a way to do that?  I think I've heard of embedding the cabochon in a resin but not sure how to do that - any suggestions?

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If you use a thick skinned gourd, you can carve out a pocket that the Ammonite sits into. Carve as deep as you want the Ammonite to be, then add Jeweler's and metal glue to the pocket to attach the fossil to the gourd permanently. Try to keep any open space between the fossil and the gourd to a minimum. If you do end up with some open space , mix a small sliver of Qwik-wood and fill any gaps, smoothing as you go. Work quickly because the Qwik-wood hardens at about 10 minutes. Qwik-wood comes in 3 colors to date, light wood color, white and copper (this dries to a dull dark brown before any finish is added).

If you want the Ammonite to be seen from both sides, trace the placement of the outer edge of the Ammonite on the gourd. Move the Ammonite out of the way and make another pencil line approx. 1/8" inside of the first pencil border. The inside pencil line or cut line can be sawn out of the gourd. Using a medium to large round carving burr, carve a rounded pocket between the sawn opening and the pencil outline, forming a rounded pocket for the outer edges of the Ammonite to sit in. Apply Jeweler's and metal Glue to the carved pocket and set the Ammonite in place. You only have a few seconds for it to seat permanently, so know where you are placing it before you actually set it into the glue. Again, you can fill any gaps with Qwik-wood.

Are you talking about a feathered cabochon? Do you want an unboardered cabochon to rotate in the opening or be suspended evenly all around in the opening? If that is the case, you may need to set it in resin first so that you have a relatively even border of clear resin that you can drill small holes in, to 'sew' the cabochon, or sliced agates or unboardered jewelry pendants, etc. into the center of the opening it is gracing.

The resin is available at good craft stores or suppliers on-line. Follow resin instructions carefully, they explain how to imbed objects correctly.
Thank you so much for your comments Bonnie! I didn't think I wanted to see the Ammonite from both sides since the back side just looks like a rock, but since you mentioned it - I think it would add a neat dimension to the inside of the gourd!

As for the other question, actually I was wanting to suspend a sliced agate from an opening and then 'sew' it to the cording I would do around the rim of the gourd. Do the resin products at Michael's tell how to do this? Does a lot of resin show up and take away from the natural look of the gourd? Do you completely cover the agate with resin or just sit it in it with the agate surface exposed?
To be honest, I haven't done it yet but have seen it. The agate is not fully embedded. The 'best side' is left exposed. Use a clear resin and it will almost completely disappear. The stitching will dominate which is what you want to see anyway. It will look as if the agate is suspended by air, a really neat effect, with the threading all pointing toward the agate. You'll have to read the instructions to find whether the front outer edge must be captured by the resin or maybe someone who has done it can tell you.

My thoughts on exactly how to do it is to pour a small block of plaster of paris, an inch larger around than your agate. Trace the agate in the center of the block, right side up. Using a carving burr, carve out a shallow pocket in the plaster 'mold' at least 1/8" all around the outside of the agate outline. Smooth the pocket as much as possible, blow clean of dust and spray with a light soapy water solution. This is the mold release agent. Pour the resin evenly in the pocket, then press the agate into the resin, allowing the resin to just capture the edges of the agate. Allow the resin and agate to set up. Drill holes as needed in the resin border around the agate and it should be ready to sew in. There may be easier methods and easier molding materials to use but these are the materials I usually have on hand. I have some Ammonite and a pretty sunset looking agate to try this myself!

The Ammonite I have actually looks like a dark chambered nautilus shell so could easily provide more interest on the inside of the gourd. Look close at yours again. It may be like that too!
Just finished trying to mold the cut agate using rubber mold building compound...no go. Will revert back to Plaster of Paris and let you know how that molding process works. I have more faith in the P of P.
Keep in mind Sharon that quik wood sets in 30 mins not 10 so you have a little time. It is a great product.
Sharon, Margaret Shingler has a great tutorial on her site, she did it with an agate, there's one also for a pinecone, & deer antler. http://margaretspinebaskets.homestead.com/resincenters.html hope this is what you're looking for.
Lynette, thank you SO MUCH for sharing that website. It is EXACTLY what I needed to know. I'm not using it for a basket lid or bottom, but rather to hang inside of a "V" I cut out of the gourd with danish coiling around the top and agate suspended in the "V" below it.

Next, I'll try a basket/gourd bowl using another agate for the bottom (like this tutorial) ! I'm excited to try this; when I get around to actually doing it - I'll Post the picture. ** Spending a great deal of time in garden right now. :)

Thanks again - you're a life-saver!!!!!
Me too, but with pine needles, that's why it was still fresh in my memory, I asked Margaret for it again a couple weeks ago because I lost the original when my P C fried. it will be awhile also before I do one too, I haven't been in any kind of craft store for a couple yrs. to get the resin, but it's on the list for if & when I do.
wow, that's great Lynette. I have a bunch of different sliced stones like that and was wondering just how I could use them. Thanks for that great link.....very cool info. : )
no problem, that's what I want to use also, the agate stones, I've had a bunch just sitting around for yrs. & I think it was Darlene Propps gourd that inspired me to do it finally, it's been on my list of things to do forever, that is if I ever get to a craft store to get the resin. I sure hope it's on sale & cheap!!
I just picked up the can of Crystal Clear Resin at Hobby Lobby for $22, not on sale. About every other week they have a 40% Off coupon on-line or in their ad for any item. Unfortunately it wasn't for this week. You might check Joann's on line ads too. Joann's is cheaper on a lot of items than Hobby Lobby.
thanks for that info too, Bonnie. I don't go to the city very often but sure enjoy hobby lobby and Joann's when I DO get in. Oh......what section do you find it in at Hobby Lobby.....it can be hard to find things at the one I shop.
Now I need to keep my eye out for that online coupon and call Joann's for prices.
This is so exciting. I knew the stones were too heavy just to mount on leather......oooo that wouldn't have worked at all. I thought about drilling holes in the stone itself, but knew the rough edges would eventually cut through whatever was holding it to the gourd work.
I can't wait to use the resin. My grandmother used a resin many many years ago to put my baby beads (birth bracelet) into resin hearts individually, then made a bracelet that looks like a charm bracelet. I often wondered what product she used to do that.
Does this resin that's being talked about here, dry hard? I noticed that scissors were used to cut the right shape around the stone, but a drill bit used to make the holes for the coiling process.


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