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Gourd update part 2: Curing, cleaning & crafting

Part 2 Gourd update

It’s now four months to the day since I harvested my gourds, during which time, 8 have cured and are ready to be cleaned and prepared for crafting.

You can see the mold is like a velvet jacket and it was impossible to move the gourd without it sending clouds of spores into the air. I would advise wearing a mask at this stage as the spores can be a serious irritant.

         


I armed myself with scourers, scrubbing brush and two buckets of warm water with dish soap added. Each gourd took about half an hour to clean as some of the mold can be quite difficult to remove.


 

After getting them as clean as I could, I rinsed them off under a cold tap then left them to dry. Some of the stains left by the mold are quite beautiful and would look great with just a clear varnish over them.



The gourds are very light weight now and the seeds inside are loose and rattle about when you move them. This first batch of bottle gourds (sometimes called birdhouse gourds) lend themselves well to be turned into nest boxes, so that is what I will do with some of them.

I use a hole saw to make the bird entrance and a drill to make holes in the neck of the gourd so I can thread some wire or rope through to hang the bird house when it’s finished. I have used M27 stainless steel washers to reinforce the bird entrance and M5 washers to reinforce the holes in the neck.  After the holes are drilled then I start to clean the interior of the gourd. This can be a bit tricky given the fact that the hole is only 27mm wide, so I use a variety of tools from lengths of wire to bottle brushes. I use various dyes, ink and stains to achieve different looks, but on this occasion I have used different colours of indian ink and sealed it with clear varnish.

                                            THE END RESULT


                 



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Posts

  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,307
    They're lovely
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • I must admit I don't recall having that much faff when growing and drying Bottle gourds but the end result can certainly be worth the effort. 
    It was a good few years ago but I only recall consistently wiping them as they dried.
    The marking left can be delicately outlined with ink or paint if desired and when completely dry, a coat of clear varnish can be applied. If you use your imagination, all sorts can be seen :)
    I found the Loofahs more fiddly - lots of soaking and squeezing and cleaning but I'm still using some of my home grown ones.  Very satisfying.  

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145
    It's the persistent WUM @philippasmith2 ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Jeez - I am a slow learner right enough - I never even looked at the date -I'll blame it one the wind  :D
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145
    Is that the outdoor or the indoor wind @philippasmith2? :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • You may well ask she says rather coyly :D:D
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145
    Have you been at the parsnips @philippasmith2;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,738
    A friend’s mother, in a frightfully posh Edinburgh accent, used to say “I think someone has just shot a bunny”.
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,150
    Has the spammer post been removed, I can't see a spam post?
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,386
    Yes @Uff :)
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