Light-Up Gourd Snowman
Melynda Lotven makes a keepsake light-up snowman out of a gourd.
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Melynda Lotven discovered the joys of gourd art after salvaging some gourds that had been collecting dust on the porch of her Columbia, Missouri home. Instead of discarding them as she had planned, this painter and ceramics artist realized they would lend themselves to an interesting art project. Over the years, she has used all 33-or-so varieties of gourds to make intriguing, playful sculptures like this holiday "Light-Up" Snowman.
Materials and Tools:
gourds in graduated sizes
acrylic paints: teddy bear tan, white, red, black, green, orange
clip light (with 4 volt bulb)
scrap of material for scarf
1. Soak gourds in water (with a wet towel over the top) for 15 minutes. Using a scrubber, clean off the mold.
2. Mark the gourds for cutting including the facial features (figure A). For the snowman body, use three cannon ball gourds and cut them so they will stack. For the largest one on the bottom, cut a circle on the bottom and top, clean out the seeds and pulp. For the middle one do the same and the top one just cut trim the bottom.
3. Clean out the seeds and pulp from all three gourds.
4. Pencil in the stars (that will go on the front of the snowman), a hole on the bottom gourd in the back (for the light to go inside) and eye cuts and smile on the top gourd (figure B).
5 . Cut out each of the above things with an electric hand jigsaw (figure C).
6. For the accessories:
- Cut the tops off two sennari gourds for the earmuffs
- Cut a dipper handle that will fit on top
- Cut mitten shapes out of flat gourd pieces.
7. Stack the three gourds together with instant glue. Also glue on the earmuffs and dipper handle on top (figure D).
8. Seal the gap areas with wood filler. Use wet fingers to make it as smooth as possible. After it dries sand it smooth (figure E).
9. Basecoat everything with teddy bear tan paint (figure F). Let dry.
10. Brush on white glaze and wipe with a rag.
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