November 2002
Volume 3, Issue 11
The Storyteller Wreath
Part One
by Dar Beck

FrazzleDazzleArtzz
1308c S.College Ave.
College Place, WA 99324
(509) 525-0999

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Dar won second place in a large competition with this gourd! Way to go Dar!

This gourd lesson includes paint, fabric and polymer clay.

Indoor Materials
  • Black acrylic paint for face and hair
  • Fine paint brush
  • Measuring tool
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Glues:
    • General purpose household glue
    • Hot glue
    • Weldbond glue
    • Sobo glue
  • Polymer Clay, approx. 2 oz ea. of 4 colors
  • Future acrylic floor finish
  • 2 twig wreaths
  • Wire, to wrap the wreaths together
  • Raffia, to cover the wire and for design
  • Tissue blade
  • Oven*
  • Aluminum turkey roasting pan and clamps
  • Fiberfill
  • Gourds, mini and medium sizes
  • Feathers
  • Alternate Coverings
    • Fabric covered in stiffener
    • Fabric backed with polymer clay
Outdoor Materials
  • Dremel and bits
  • Jigsaw and blades
  • Face mask
  • Gloves
  • Extension cord if necessary
  • Heavy duty screwdriver for cleaning inside of big gourd if needed, or whatever you normally use
Polymer clay, wreath and raffia can be found at most craft stores.

Dremel and bits, jigsaws, wire and glues can be found at hardware stores and/or various gourd suppliers.

Aluminum pans can be found at your local grocery store.

Click picture for larger image
*Oven: I use an aluminum baking pans with tiles on the bottom to even out the heat, then put my pieces in a top pan that is attached to the first pan with paper clamps.

Click picture for larger image
Step One:
Lay out the gourds and wreaths. The twig wreaths I purchased were too skinny for me, so I wired 2 of them together.

Make a hook opening on the back of the wreath so it can be hung on the wall. Take pieces of raffia and cover the wire.

Click picture for larger image
Step Two:
Lay out the little gourds for room and spacing. Decide what gourd will be your “storyteller.”

In this case, I put two gourds together to form the main figure (in the middle of the gourd).

At this point the wreaths have been wired together. Cover the wire that shows with raffia. Alternatively, use ribbon, fabric, or paint.

Click picture for larger image
Step Three:
Paint the eyes, mouth, and hair on the little figures.

Once the paint is dry, cover entire figure with Sobo glue, and let it dry (any type of white glue that dries clear could be used). Snip off the vine endings on the mini gourds.

Click picture for larger image
Step Four:
Put your ‘storyteller’ together (if you’ve needed to use two gourds), glue pieces, let dry.

Paint facial features onto the storyteller. Cover it with Sobo glue, and let the glue dry. Pictured here is a painted storyteller with Sobo glue, drying while stuck in hunk of scrap polymer clay.

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Step Five:
"Little ones" getting ready for bodies and legs.

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Step Six:
Roll the polymer clay using an acrylic roller or pasta machine. The beige color will be used for legs, the white and turquoise for part of the poncho, and the red for the body.

The top of this picture shows clay stacked for the poncho. Cut the clay in strips, stack, (top of picture) then twist the stack, smooch it all together, wrap it around itself -- make a mess!

Click picture for larger image
Step Seven:
Flatten out the marbled white and turquoise clay for the poncho.

Run some contrasting clay through the pasta machine at #4. Cut very skinny strips from the thin contrasting color clay and place them on top of the marbled white and turquoise clay.

Put the whole piece thru the pasta machine at #1, then redo at #2, #3, and #4. Now it is completely smooth without the contrasting colors blending.

Click picture for larger image
Step Eight:
Take beige clay and roll into a snake for the legs. The length of leg will depend on how tall you want the little figures to be. Cut the leg length from the beige clay.

Click picture for larger image
Step Nine:
Turn up one end of the piece for the foot, and squeeze the clay onto the body.

Click picture for larger image
Step Ten:
Make a red clay snake and place it around the middle of the little figures. Because the gourd is covered with Sobo glue, the clay will stick firmly.

Next month: Part 2

© 2002 Dar Beck

Editor's Letter | Face Cane Packing | Faux Opal | Layered Illusions | Peacock Feather Cane | Storyteller Wreath | What's the Point | November Holiday Art | Email Us! | Home

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