"Wow! Wonderful! I bought Hellen's book, but my pieces don't look anywhere near as nice as yours. (Wish I could afford to travel to all these neat places to take some of the great classes I read about. Of…"
"Thanks, Christine. Your lamps are amazing with your colored paper in the cutouts and the neat designs. I have an LED bulb in this one. They stay very cool, so I don't have to worry about heat at all."
Hi Beth, Your gourds are so nice. I love the pink flowers-and the carving looks good to me. Look at my page and see the one I did. It was my first one like that too. I loved the carving but had a terrible time deciding on how to color it. I ended up with acrylics and am reasonably pleased.
I'm in the Capital City Patch in Columbia and am trying to get more involved in things, maybe we will run into each other sometime. Linda
The trick Beth is to just try things. There are a lot of gourds that I do because I want to see if I can. It's the challange that gets my blood flowing. :) If it doesn't work out, I'm not out much money, just some time. Hopefully on the failures, I learn a lot.
Hi Beth, I just got back from vacation and saw your comments about my red tailed hawk. I did undercut it and narrowed the tail before placing it in the opening. I then used Apoxie sculpt on the inside to make it stronger and to smooth the inside. It was a fun piece to do.
I am surprised how easy it is to take good photos. Bonnie had made a frame out of PVC pipe for a demo and then sold it to me. I put white sheet like material around the sides and top. I went to the fabric store and bought a piece of dull white vynal that I draped on the inside of the box frame. I get no glare from it and I don't have to worry about it creasing or ripping like paper or cardboard might. My camera is a little cheap digital and I use regular light bulbs in trouble lights. I clipped four onto the outside of the frame so they shine on the white cloth. Just don't get your bulbs too close and set your material on fire. :)
Beth, that is a pretty old tutorial and I have adjusted my burs some. I use the rough Kutzalls and then refine the work with a finer Kutzall like bur. I also use a small teardrop stump bur because it doesn't take off a lot of gourd and that gives me more control to shape muscles, eye sockets etc. I guess the most important thing to tell someone learning to carve is to hold the carving tool like you would a tennis racket and not like a pencil. Then use your thumb to help guide and control your carving. If you do that, you are a step ahead of a lot of gourd carvers.
Hi Beth, I use a variety of burs. They are mostly structured tooth burs such as Kutzall. They are expensive but Bonnie sells some that are a little cheaper and do a good job. The structured tooth bur allows me to get off the unwanted gourd quicker so I can get to the fun part. I also use a tool called a Shofu. It is similar to the Turbo carver but better quality (more expensive too). I use this for detail. Turbo carver is a good tool if you are not carving every gourd you touch. It's made of plastic and I just plumb wore it out. :)
Hi Beth, Recently, I have been using a matt Krylon protective coat, but this time I sprayed the bear gourd with satin Krylon. I did that because I used Treasure Crystal Cote, which is high gloss, to coat the eyes and the blackberries. I was afraid there would be too much contrast if I used the matt. Treasure Crystal Cote has a thickness similar to fingernail polish but won't yellow over time.