Sharing my love of art in many differing ways
has always given me a surge of energy.
I enjoy finding a way to connect to folks who sometimes
think they have no art-muscle. So when this truck of
gourds called to us...of course we dove in.
I drive by this truck filled with gourds several times a day as I pass Maw's Produce on Highway 105 in Foscoe. Of course my imagination would play! When some friends also had the itch to see what could be done, we dipped our toes into the waters of gourd art by deciding to make birdhouses. I did a little "research" and uncovered a wealth of great advice on the internet. (Check out this comprehensive site.)
Since we had already decided on birdhouses we had to center in on advice related to such. After "too much info" we just plunged forward. The picture below shows a gourd before extensive cleaning and one afterwards. Big diff, huh?
This is important to do (I used a bleach water and stiff brush but ajax or tide works as well) IF you are going to use the natural color of the gourd in your design. If you will cover it totally with paint (as we did) I would recommend a light cleaning or even just sanding down the rough spots and spraying it thoroughly with a primer such as Kilz or the one below:
We used a keyhole bit on my drill for the entry and smaller bits for the perch hole and a place to thread a wire for hanging. Something new I learned (and didn't photo) was to drill holes (small to medium) on the bottom of the gourd so that any collected rain water did not remain to drown the baby birds. There is even some debate over which birds need perches and which do not. I went by the size of the gourd and thereby esthetics ruled.
Now the fun begins. We used an odd assortment of acrylic paints: common craft store brands to left over house paints. I learned that a glossy spray paint DID NOT work well as an under color coat as nothing would stick to it. I also learned that if you really can't abide your first attempt just spray it all over again with primer and give it another try.
We roughed out designs with pencils. I also had coloring books nearby with tracing paper and transfer paper available in case we wanted to pinch a design we could not draw out.
The gourd above got a coating of house paint first, speedy drying with a hair dryer and then this design put in paint and outlined with a paint pen. Note there is no perch. The bird info we found said it was the dark hole standing out against the colorful design that beckons the prospective renters.
After about 2.5 hours of painting and chatting we took a break for lunch out. When we returned the beautiful pieces had dried and were ready for a coat or two of spray sealer. I don't know if this step is critical but if you use a gloss or satin finish it really gives a professional look to the end product. There's no end of ways to custom design your own birdhouse and I imagine any age could have a fine time painting one up.
Let me know if you have questions and I'll share what I learned. Now, of course I am intrigued by cutting into the newly cleaned one to make...hmm....what?
ADDING COLOR TO THE 'HOOD,