"When I see the finished gourd vessel I visualize my smile similar to the smile our creator must have when seeing his work of art in his ceations"

Prickly Pear Cactus

Fiber before layers are separated

   
 
As with all gourds, I begin by drawing my design on the gourd. Then I carve out areas including where I want to inlay my fiber .I create a little bevel on the underneath side of the rim so the fiber edges catch under this space. I smooth the surface with sand paper. Then I cut the damp fiber to fit the area.    

 

 
On this gourd I painted the surface black and attached the fiber with Diamond Glaze glue.
finished gourd
 

0ther Examples

 
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Gourds Showing in a Gallery

One of my favorite techniques involves using the fiber of the prickly pear cactus. Once the skin and flesh has decayed in the sun, the skeleton fibers can be clean separated and moisten for inlay. This is a long process and one I don't have the patience for. Luckily there are gourd artists here in Arizona that sell it to us. I believe you can also purchase it on Espy.

 

We call the process Cactus Lace Inlay.