Gardens and Gourds - January 2006

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2006. I hope you enjoy the new layout.

Are you planning on making a bowl or cup that will be used for eating or drinking? There are some different ways to make your gourd food safe.

1. Use a salad bowl finish that can be found in the woodworking departments in stores or online. Just do a search for “Salad Bowl Finish

2. A beeswax coating can be used.

It is best to heat the gourd in the oven at 200º for about 15 minutes before applying the beeswax for better absorbency. Be sure and melt the beeswax in a double boiler or do what I do and put a can with the beeswax in a pot with water. Melt it slowly on low so it doesn’t start spitting. Beeswax is flammable and hot when melted so be careful because we don’t want any accidents while we are having fun with gourds.

3. You can also waterproof with 100% tung oil. It will take awhile because you need to use 4 coats and let dry between coats. If you happen to get tung oil that isn’t 100% pure you will need to let it sit before using for 4 weeks to let the added chemicals evaporate out.

4. You may even want to go primitive and use the water method. Just fill the gourd with water and let it sit for a couple of days. Throw that water out and refill. Keep up the process until the water in the gourd no longer tastes bitter.

All of these need to be done when the gourd has been cleaned thoroughly and sanded smooth.

Now a word from our sponsor No mess for you with my gourds ready for crafting. Let me do the work and you add your artistic talents. Do you have allergies? Don't take the chance on having a reaction cleaning moldy gourds. All of our gourds for sale are cleaned and prepped so that you won't have any of the mess and dirty work to do. Start creating the minute they arrive at your door. We offer gourds grown in Pennsylvania but we are also an east coast distributor of gourds grown at Welburn Gourd Farm in California.

Do you have a gourd that you would like to line for interest or to strengthen a thin wall?

I came across this site that is explaining how to dye used dryer sheets. I thought it would be something neat to try as a liner for a gourd.

How to dye dryer sheets

There is a new gourd book out called "Gourd Art: Beyond the Basics" and you can find it on my books page.