Friday, December 11, 2015

Thunder Gourds - How to

These are called "Thunder Gourds" and as you can see I make different looking ones, but the purpose of each one is to create the sound of thunder.

The Supplies Used in this project are:

Medium/Large Gourds ( I have found that the bigger the bottom of the gourd, the deeper the sound)
Synthetic Drum Head
Adjusted/Stretched Spring (Similar to the spring on a screen door)
Wood burner (on some)
Paints, Stains
Suede cord
Proxxon Jig Saw STS 12/E
Foot Switch FS
Heat Gun (Not a blow dryer, it won't get hot enough)
Glue ( I use CA glue from Satellite City in California)

To start with you need to cut the bottom off your gourds:
Can you see the pulp inside the gourd in the top or bottom picture? Well every bit of that pulp and the seeds have to be cleaned out before you can continue with this project. There are many different tools which can be used to clean a gourd and once you get all of the stuff out except for a few little pieces left behind, you can use drywall screen and then sandpaper to get the inside very smooth.

Drill a hole on either side of the top of the gourd, thread your suede thru each outside of the gourd and tie into a knot on the inside but then pull your threaded suede up on the outside for a hanger.

After it's cleaned you can paint the inside to give it a nice look. I then burn different designs onto the outside of the gourds and use paints or inks to color the gourd or the design.
As you can see, the saw is used to cut holes of different shapes and sizes into the gourds. You must put holes in the gourd in order to let the sound out. 

Once all of this is done, you sand the bottom of your gourd flat, apply a thin bead of glue around the edge and attach the synthetic drum. After the glue is dry, trim your drum to the edge of your gourd and use the heat tool to shrink the drum tight to the bottom of the gourd. (There is a video on YouTube showing you how to do that) 

Take the end wire of the spring and puncture a hole in the bottom of the drum and then twist your spring onto the drum head. 

Grasp the top of your gourd and shake it and listen to the sounds of thunder coming out! The first few Thunder Gourds that I made, scared our oldest dog 'cause he's terrified of thunder and lightning! lol Now he turns and looks at me to make sure it's me and not the weather before he gets scared.

Once again, my Proxxon saw has made my Gourd Art making easier!!

Barbara Moore

1 comment:

Ronald Vedder said...

Are these meant to hang outside?