I spent the day at the awesome Adirondack Folk School, where I previously took classes in precious metal clay (PMC), (and a second time in PMC), bead embroidered free-form jewelry, and lampwork beads.
But today was all about gourds. We started with canteen gourds, like these pictured below, and soaked and scrubbed them to remove mold etc. I had a specific plan in mind for my purse, but when I saw the beautiful natural patterns on my scrubbed gourd, I changed my mind and my plan completely.
We removed the seeds (you can plant them; I saved mine for next summer but unfortunately realize that I left them at the school where they were undoubtedly 'cleaned up' and thrown away). Then we cleaned the excess stuff out of the insides.
Here's what the other gals in the class were doing. The one with the stars was colored with shoe polish, and the star outlines were wood-burned. She blackened them in with a Sharpie! (The paints wouldn't work over the shoe polish.) The studs in the middle of the stars are actually brass fasteners!! The fastener is a loop of elastic that hooks over the stem of the gourd. Cool, no?
Here's the back of my finished purse. We put on hinges using brass fasteners.
And the front. I used a blackened brass clasp on mine.
The sides look pretty cool too. I may change out the strap at some point. I'd love to use something woven perhaps?
By the way, we sewed a little felt pouch that fits perfectly inside, and also cut a piece to fit in the top. They were attached inside with hot glue. I didn't photograph the inside. I may at some point, when I have the time, remove the felt inside and use something a little 'nicer'. When I have time....
Here I am below, showing off the finished product to my husband, who didn't even really take a good look at it. Oh well. He's too used to my projects, I guess!