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Make a Red Gourd Shakere
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Make a “Snake” with Cowrie Shells Gourd Shekere

  1. Put an Image on the Gourd

  2. Drill the Cowrie Shell Beads

  3. Knot on Shell Beads (Noise makers)

  4. Cut Bottom Hole Add Knots, Perform Winter Solstice Rituals

  5. Add Feathers

  6. It Flies

Make an Gourd Rattle with Black Walnut Knockers

  1. Prepare Black Walnut Beads
  2. Preparing the Design, Cutting and Pyrography
  3. Coloring the Rattle
  4. Attaching the Walnuts
  5. Add the Feathers and Finish the Rattle

A Foraged Foxtail

Honnu Turtle Guiro
 : Preparing the Design, Cutting and Pyrography :

Now something really odd happened. This rattle was meant to have a specific spiritual purpose, so I set out to help the spirits find and know it. I cut holes in the top and bottom (sorry I forgot to shoot the photos, I used the dremel tool with a cutting wheel for the stem end of the gourd and a drill bit for the larger hole at the flower end) on the largest, prettiest bottle gourd I had left. The stem end was not as swollen as is usual in a bottle gourd but this seemd right as that is to be the handle and it is much more hand sized than if it were swollen.

After removing the seeds and pulp/fluff I wanted to grind out the inside using pea gravel as is my usual practice (and as is recommended in gourdcraft literature). I left th house with my handy dandy horticultural hand spade stuck in my pocket, calling the spirits as I went. I found my feet drawn to the gypsy lady's house. This started making sense. If anyone has stro0ng spirits, it has to be the gypsy lady. Sure enough, right hear her house was a nice patch of pea gravel. I shoveled some in and saw 3 larger pebbles which were talking to me (pick me, pick me)>

I began shaking the gourd. What a great sound. I walked the spirits back to my house to complete this step, but they wouldn't stay in. They broke a hole in the side and the one(s) that needed to go back to the gypsy lady went home (hmmm). Now - what to do? This is supposed to be a simple symetric ratle with beads on the outside. I've already figured out bead attachment. Here is this hole. Do I alter the plan and work with the same gourd or switch to a new gourd? I decided to change plans. I studied the hole and decided it would be a star. I drew the star, but it wasn't right. I changed it into the mouth in a face.
cutting the mouth hole

I built a face around the mouth, sketching it with pencil. Once everything looked right, I needed to saw the mouth hole. Rather than the dremel tool, I used the exacto knife heavy duty handle with an exacto saw blade. Use the narrow top when turning/cuting curves. Use longer strokes for the straighter sectins to cut further with each stroke.

pyrogrpahy to place the design

Again, the articulating vise is very useful. The litte wire stand that comes with the woodburing tool works... but it weighs less than the tool, not to mention the cord. The vise on the other hand doesn't move. The weight of the tol and the weight plus pressure of the cord are insignificant to the vise. It's plastic grip covers also flex enough to let me press the woodburning tool in for a snug fit.

pyrogrpahic design from above
pyrogrpahic design from below
In addition to the face, I drew lines in which I will color the gourd. The lines are roughly in the shape of the hazardous material/nuclear danger sign - 3 wedges in triangular configuration. However, because of the shape of the gourd, the wedges widen from each end.

pyrogrpahy completed on the gourd

With the design completed, I was ready to begin coloring the three wedges.

 : Links/Sponsors :

Make a Shakere is sponsored by Fertility Futures, a firm focused on helping make families possible. Many would be parents are unable to realize their dreams of a family with children due to fertility issues. Fertility Futures brings medical specialists and counselors to bear on these difficult problems, helping couples with a range of solutions from fertility therapy through the use of surrogates to carry a child through pregancy for a family. In order to support this service, Fertility Futures also solicits egg donors for its ova donation program. People who face challenges in becoming parents, or healthy women who are willing to become egg donors should consider visiting Fertility Futures.

Rhythm Workers Union my inspiration for all things rhythmic

Guerilla Poetry Insurgency some wonderful people who understand the power and importance of the spoken word

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