This class was taught by Claire Cassan at our July 2006 meeting.
Seagrass rim: an easy way to finish a gourd.
- A gourd with an opening (bowl, vase, etc.) already cleaned and finished. The gourd doesn't need to be extra thick. You just need enough thickness to drill holes in it. If the gourd is too thick it will protrude on each side of your rim, in that case use a thicker seagrass.
- Baby Seagrass, can be purchased at Atkinson
- Steel wire, gage #18.
- Something to cut the wire.
- wood glue
- beads with 4mm hole, can be purchased at eebeads
- Dremel with small drill bits, same size as the wire. It is the third bit in the Dremel box, starting on the left side of the box.
- Drill an odd number of holes in your rim, inside the thickness. Holes should be 1/2'' to 3/4'' deep. The spacing of your holes depends on how tight you want your weaving to be. Dye your rim to hide the holes.
- Cut as many spokes as you have drilled holes. The length of the spoke depends on how much you want to weave.
- Dip the end of each wire in the glue and place in each hole. Let it dry.
- Measure your seagrass by multiplying the perimeter of your rim with the number of laps you plan to make. When measuring the perimeter add a few inches to be sure. If you have a big bundle and don't know how much you want to weave you don't need to cut the seagrass. Just weave from the bundle.
- Start the seagrass on the inside of the gourd and secure it with a drop of glue. You can use a clothespin to hold it in place.
- Weave over one spoke, under the next, and so on.
- If you plan to curve your rim, start to gently bend each wire as you go, keeping them in place with a gentle pressure of your left hand.
- While you are weaving it is very important to use the fingers of the left hand to push the seagrass in place. Stop regularly to push the seagrass and keep the weaving tight. Don't let the weaving be lose.
- If a spoke gets out of its hole. Stops weaving and hold the seagrass in place with a clothespin. Put a little bit of glue at the end of the wire and push it back in the hole, making sure the "over-under" weaving pattern is correct. Wait until the glue dries up before resuming the weaving.
- At the end of the weaving, hide the seagrass end inside the weaving by going along a spoke, and secure with a little bit of glue
- For each spoke, insert a bead and push the weaving slightly. Cut the wire flush to the top of the bead. When you release the pressure on the seagrass the end of the wire will be hidden inside the bead . Don't push the seagrass down too much that the bead will pop-out. Remove the bead, put a little bit of glue on the tip of the wire and put the bead back