The seeds are planted in early spring after any chance of frost.
They are harvested after the first frost of the year and then set in a cool dry area and allowed to dry for about 6 months.
As they dry the pulp inside dries, the outside of the gourd hardens and a mold forms on the outside of the gourd.
Then the mold on the outside of the gourd has to be cleaned. The gourd is wrapped in a wet towel for about 24 hours to soften the mold, then it is scrubbed off using an aluminum scrubby. The gourd is then allowed to dry for about 24 hours.
Once the gourd is dry the pattern is drawn onto the gourd. The cut lines are then traced with a black marker
If the interior of the gourd is going to be used as part of the design the exterior hard shell is chipped away using a dremel tool at this time.
Using a miniature cross saw that has about blade that is about 1.25 inches long the larger pieces of the gourd are cut out.
The detail of the design is craved into the gourd using an Xacto Knife.
This step is the longest and can take many hours depending on the size and hardness of the gourd and the intricacy of the design
Using a wood burner the edges are sealed and the design is burnt and detailed into the gourd
Color is added to the design using oil pastel pencils or dyes made specifically for gourds
After the colorization is complete the gourd is given a polyurethane coating to protect the color
The process of creating a carved gourd can take weeks, I will often put in 80 to 100 hours of work to create just one finished gourd.