Gourd Art Enthusiasts

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I frequently weave pine needles, sea grass and other natural materials on my gourds.  Most of the time I am happy with the results but the pine needles always end up looking rough and ragged.  One of the other issues is that when I use philodendron sheaths, over time they get very dry and fragile and do not transport well which makes it difficult for me to take them to shows and sell them.  At the shows I see lots of smooth, shiny pine needle and beautiful philodendron weavings and am wondering if anyone has some tips on maintaining that smooth appearance and what kind of finish to use.  I've tried one spray product but over time it started to flake off and it really looked awful.  Any ideas would be helpful.
Nora Graf

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Put your needles in pan large enough to cover them with water ad capfull of pure glycerine and simmer for at least 15 minutes. This amount to the ratio of water usually is absorbed by 8oz. of needles and will make them flexable when redampened for weaving. If you want to dye them ad your dye and follow the directions on the dye pack or adjust the amount for the intensity of color you want. I experiment a lot to find the colors I want and this will work on other raffia. grasses, etc. I have also used the philodendron leaves but be sure and do not crowd them. This is also kills any eggs, bugs, etc. that can be present and infest items in your home.
Thanks for the information. I have used a similar procedure but it really changes the color of the needles. I'll give this method a try.


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