Sinew in both white and brown, and one spool of beading thread
tape, (small piece)
of newspaper and paper towels.
size 8, 40 total, (color to blend with rim treatment)
leather dye, (light brown)
round, cleaned inside and out.
pin, or drill with a small size bit (1/16” approx.)
blunt end, size 18-22.
(manicure type, or smallest you have.)
saw, (fine toothed), or Exacto knife to cut the hole in proportion to the size
of the gourd.
or something round to trace the hole with.
Before starting the details, using a compass or round object, mark a circle on
the gourd and start the hole with an Exacto knife. You can continue using the
knife to cut out the hole, or use a fine-toothed keyhole saw.
1. Using a pencil, mark off 38
equally spaced points around the hole about ¼” from back from the edge.
2. Take the awl and make a tiny
indentation at each pencil mark.
3. Drill a hole at each point,
(if you don’t have a drill, use the push pin carefully to make a hole large
enough to get your needle through easily.)
4. Wearing gloves and working
over the newspaper, use the dabber to dye the gourd. Do a section at a time by
applying dye then immediately rub off the excess with paper towels. Wait
overnight, or, to speed the process, dry with a hair dryer.
5. Cut a 4-yard strand of white
false sinew and find the natural splits in it to make 3 or 4 pieces.
6. Take a strand, tie a large
knot on one end and thread your needle.
Put one bead on the strand down to the knot. Go through the bead again. (This insures that
the thread will not pull through the hole.)
7. Starting from the inside of
the hole #1, (Figure 1), go down to the outside of hole #20, then to the left
inside to hole #21. Now come out and up
to hole #2 on your right. Go through
this one on the outside, then right to the inside of hole #3. This sets the pattern for the rest. Every spoke on the right side will be coming
from one on the left and vice versa when you are coming from the left. Check the inside and you will see you are
making a running stitch. (Ex: .____. .____.)
If this isn’t what you see, you have gone in a wrong
8. When #38 is completed, bring
your thread to the middle and loop
around all threads thus centering your web. Loop around once or twice more to catch those
you missed the first time.
9. Starting at spoke #1, weave
your thread over and under all of them
returning to the top. Because you have an even number of spokes,
this would have you going over #1 again when to create a pattern you should be
going under it. So, on each row, at some
point, you will need to go over or under two spokes instead of one. (Note: To avoid the “skip” always appearing
in the same place, stagger it around the circle.)
Continue this weave until the center is roughly the size of a 50 cent
the weaving a few spokes beyond the top center by “tunneling”. This means to run the needle down the inside
of the spoke strand for ½” or so thus hiding the thread. Carefully come out in the inside of the gourd
and cut it off leaving a small tail. Since
the sinew is waxed, you can squeeze the area together to keep the tail
hidden. (See Figure 2.)
and Neck Pattern (See Figure 3)
Thread a piece of dark brown sinew about two yards long which
have already split. Coming from the
inside to the outside of
spoke, leave a tail of ½’’ and start weaving to #38. Hold the
up as you go so it is caught and held tight in the weaving.
Continue from #3 to #38 for an inch, (Note: The weaving will
it from looking as pointy as it does on the diagram.), then
the next 3 or 4 rows, include #37.
Depending on the width
the thread, do this for 3 or 4 more rows to create the beak,
3. Weave between #3 and #2 for
¼”, going to #3 again. You are
making the right side of the
face. Go across to #38 and back again
for about 3/8”. Now weave across #1 and
#2 for 3 or 4 rows, and tunnel down #1 until you are even with the right side
of the face stitches, and go over #1 and #38 to match it. Tunnel down #1 to the circle, coming up at
Left Wing Pattern (See Figure 3)
Note: Cut your masking tape in thin strips to
designate an area
are working on, i.e. between #27 and #36 on the wing. No
1. Weave down to spoke #27,
back to #36 for ¼”.
2. Now follow the sequence of
#28 to #36, #29 to #36, #30 to #36, #31 to #36, #32 to #36, and #33 to #36.
3. Continue for #34, then out
to #33 for ¼”. Repeat the same pattern
to #30 to finish the wing. (Note: If you
run out of thread at any point, use the tunnel system to both end and start a
Wing Pattern (See Figure 3)
1. Do the right wing just the
reverse of the left.
Pattern (See Figure 3)
1. Skipping #26, weave from #25
to #16 for a good inch. Now
#24 to #17 for ¼” and last #22 to #19.
2. Finish up with nine long
stitches on the tail from your circle out
to the space between each spoke and back, thus
giving the appearance of long feathers.
(Note: Since the sinew is so easy to work with, you can gently move
things around, then press the spokes to hold it. Example: If one wing seems
higher than the other, or the tail feathers aren’t even, etc.)
1. Take a long piece of beading
thread and go through a bead as in
6 above. From the inside go through any
hole other than
#1. Add a bead and go through it again, then back
to the inside
the next hole. Continue until finished
around the entire
Add a drop of instant drying glue to the end and when dry, cut
1. The rim can be finished with
pine needles, raffia, leather, or left
plain. (See Figure 4)