Monday, March 1, 2010

Lighted Sculpture: Gourd Caterpillar Part 1

I've had some amazing gourds for a year. My uncle grew them and my Nana dried them. They molded a bit, so she rinsed them in bleach water, but the great mold patterns remained. I wanted to make a group of little warty people but that seemed kitsch and I wouldn't know who to give them to or where to put them. So I stored them in my trailer for a year, because every time I wanted to make something I didn't want to waste them so I waited. Then I found them while looking for pieces for my squid umbrella lamp. Aren't they great! This one has holes I made with a corkscrew and expanded with a screwdriver. I plan to put in Christmas lights which will show up as pinpricks of light. A jigsaw would make really neat shapes but idk how to do it with a gourd. I am using children's hand tools because that is what Andrew had in his room when I decided to start on these. They wear out my hands but Andrew also has Aspercreme so I am fine.
The left 2 are cut to fit together, but the hand tools hurt my wrists (and using the metal pliers (no grip of any kind) to nip off pieces hurt my palm a lot after a while) so the right 2 are not started. I am worried about threading the lights through the narrow part of the 2nd gourd from the right. Also I really don't want to ruin it because it is my favorite of the gourds. I tried to make the caterpillar work with only three gourds so I could continue saving this one for at least another year, but it looked stupid when I laid it out with 3 instead of 4.
Here is how it will look kind of. Seeing it like this makes me think I should cut large shapes out that follow the cuves and then cover it all in stockings to obscure the lights. That would look more interesting when turned on. However if you look at the top photo and see the luster and colors it seems like I should prioritize showing the surface over the form.

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