Our goal in this project is to create a potpourri bowl with a lid depicting a cluster of oak leaves. We'll leave cut-outs in the lid to allow the aroma from the potpourri to circulate.
We started by selecting a gourd for this project. Obviously each gourd is different, and the quality of the surface and its markings are important factors in selection, based on the needs of the project. Sometimes you select a gourd for a particular project, and sometimes the gourd's shape, size, and features dictate the project for which it will be used. This little canteen gourd measures about 3¾ inches high by 5¼ inches in diameter. This one already has been cleaned on the outside, and it has a nice decorative stem that is, unfortunately, a little brittle.
In this first picture, you can see that we've penciled a pattern onto the surface. The plan is to cut the gourd in half at about the mid-point (vertically), but the tips of some of the oak leaves will extend below the cut line.
We've completed the cut, as well as some rough cleaning of the interior. [We've skipped a few steps ... if you are interested, you can find more detail on laying out patterns, starting the cuts, and so forth, on our first tutorial, "Lidded Gourd Bowl."] You can see how the tips of several of the oak leaves extend below the horizontal cut-line, with corresponding cut-outs in the edge of the bowl. You will notice as well that we had a bit of a problem with the stem ... it broke off! We'll try to reattach it later.
Having gone a step further, we've used our MicroMark mini jigsaw to cut out the open spaces between the tips of the oak leaves. You can see how the lid fits nicely onto the bowl — and in only one way! No puzzles here about which way the lid goes on.
The next step is to pyrograph (burn) the outlines and details of the oak leaves.
After some gentle finish sanding on the edges of the bowl and lid, we proceeded with painting the interiors. We used Jo Sonja's Artist's Gouache in Burnt Umber, mixed about two-to-one with an acrylic varnish. Later we'll spray the entire piece, inside and out, with a satin-finish acrylic varnish.
In this picture, we're part-way through the process of rouging oil paints to color the leaves. We're planning to create a "step-by-step" on oil rouging eventually — but suffice it to say that this task involves applying small amounts of paint, then brushing away and blending the colors to achieve the desired effect.
Here is the finished piece. We repaired the stem by gently drilling a cavity into each end of the break, then inserting a shortened wooden toothpick as an internal "splint." We used Elmer's white glue to set the break, sanded the area gently, then finished the stem with oil point.