Gourd Pyrography – Finished the second horse head gourd piece

So here it is, the finished piece that I was working on when I wrote my last blog, “The 3 hour rope burn“.  As you can see I went a little farther than just the horse’s face and the rope because, quite frankly, it did not seem finished to me when I got those two things burned in.

Pyrograph Horse Head gourd

The finished Horse and rope Gourd.

pyrography Horse head

Close up of the horse head

Sometimes these gourds, and I would venture a guess that this is true for all art work, have a mind of their own. They know when you are not done with it. They cry out for MORE….MORE.

In the case of this gourd, when I finished the head and the rope I knew immediately that more was needed. I played around with maybe putting horse shoes into the lasso, but that did not sit well with me. Eventually I decided to do the fall leaves design, which I really love to do.

Closeup of the pyrographed leaves

Closeup of the leaves

When I finished burning in all the leaves I painted them using red, green and yellow gourd ink dye. I love the way these paints can blend into each other. After painting each leaf, I heat set the color so that I did not accidentally smear it!  I learned that the hard way.

BTW…  You can click on each picture to see it bigger.

What if I hated it?

Once I was finished with the leaves I had to decide what the background color would be. Normally I would have left it natural,  like the horse or dye it a rather dark brown but the gourd wanted it black.

I argued with the gourd but as you can see, it won.

I have never used black as the background before, and honestly I was quite worried. What if I hated it, all that hard work down the drain.

As it turned out, the gourd knew best! I loved the black.

Gourd Art- Pyrographed leaves

Another Closeup




What do you think?

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Pyrographed Rope

Pyrography on Gourds- The 3 hour rope burn and other horse play

Pyrography on Gourds – wood burning a rope on a gourd.

One of my favorite embellishments on a gourd is the use of pyrography, which is also known as wood-burning. In this post I talk about my recent pyrography on gourds, where I create a rope.

Since my last horse head pyrography project sold so quickly I just had to do another one. You see, I have an art show coming up at the end of April right here in my little town of Poteau OK . This town is full of horse lovers and I wanted to come up with something that would impress them. I want to “break into” this town and this will be my very first attempt.

I have to have something to interest them, now don’t I!! So my goal is to have a gourd with a horse head on it and one with a deer head. I am seriously thinking the deer head one needs to be painted in camouflage since that “look” is huge here especially during hunting season.

Gourd Art- Horse head

My First pyrographed Horse head

This was my first horse head gourd piece.  I burned in the horse head and surrounded him (or her I guess) with a wood burned rope that was stained yellow. The gourd shell was carved away between the horse and the rope and pitted, which gives it a really cool organic look. The rim is made from horse hair and tied off with leather and beads.

This piece was listed on Etsy.com for less than 8 hours before a horse lover discovered it and bought it!! I always get so excited when someone discovers one of my gourds and wants it!!

The whole time I was making this one the thought ran through my head to wrap the rope all the way around the gourd, like a lasso.

So I started a new gourd with a wood burned horse head.

So where does the three hour rope burn I mentioned in the title come into play. Well I decided to make my idea of the lasso all the way around the gourd come true and it took forever!

I am sure it was more than three hours.

Creating and burning the rope

To begin this project I penciled a line all the way around the gourd with 3 small loops. I kept drawing and erasing (Mr Clean Magic erasers work great on getting pencil marks off) until I was really happy with the positioning and that it all made sense.

Once the line was drawn I started drawing in the individual coils of the rope. They are like little “s” one right after the other

Drawing the Rope on the gourd

Drawing the rope on the gourd. It is a series of “s’ all touching each other

Lasso Rope pyrography Pyrography rope on Gourd

Pyrographed Rope

Closeup of Pyrographed Rope

Rope is organic and that means it does not have to be perfect. So don’t strive to make each one a perfect replica. First, it will drive you batty and second, rope coils are not perfect in real life!

When you start drawing the loop though, remember that the inside of the rope coil will be smaller that the outside. Watch your perspective!

When I was penciling in my rope I started with rather large coils and then they got smaller because I lost the view. I had to decide what size I wanted and went back and readjusted the rope until it was exactly right for me.

Once I was happy I burned in the outside edge using a Razertip Large Skewer like this one listed on Amazon.

The shading I did with a Writing Tip like this one.

It works ok, as you can see if you like shading with squiggly lines but it takes a long time.  I just ordered this pen (bent shader) from Amazon and I think it is sitting in my PO box right now. I should go get it!! I think it will change the way I shade.

It was this shading that took me over 3 hours. I wanted to add the individual twine lines to give it a more realist look.

I hope this helped you on your pyrography path!! Comments are always welcome. We learn from each other!

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