Saturday, 28 December 2013


Olivia is 10 years old. She has been with me for many months making a large house.
The idea of creating this house is to get it to a stage where she can take it home and finish it in any way she sees fit.
This is the basic gourds that have been used
To build the base of the house it is necessary to place three large gourds with a plastic ridged pipe going up the middle. It is then glued together with liquid nails. In the three valleys created by the three main gourds smaller gourds have been placed to fill the gap.

The gourds are covered in cardboard which is either glued in place or stapled together. It is necessary to use products that are light. It is amazing how heavy these types of houses are when they are finished. A ton of feathers is still a ton!

The photo to the right shows the approximate location of the clear plastic tubing that will made into vines but actually hides the wiring for the lights inside and out.

This photos shows you what the vines look like once they have been wrapped in 'bark' like fabric and string then painted. The 'moss' is two types of wool finger crocheted together. See the cream coloured flower in the top left corner, that has a light in the center of it. So do the large flowers in the photo below.

The outside of the house has been covered in lots of plants and fungi. It also has flowers that light up. Olivia has soldered all of the lights herself.

Two of the gourds have been opened so that Olivia could make a bedroom and a lounge room. Again only the basics have been added so she can add other 'thing's later as the whim takes her.

Olivia's cool cat. Isn't he great?

Olivia has built an astronomy tower. I am very pleased with the telescope. We used an old atlas to help with accuracy of the drawings of the planets on the back wall. There is a string ladder leading up to the tower.

As more work is completed I shall add more photos.

Friday, 27 December 2013


I met Charlie at the Mudgeeraba Show where I was displaying my models. I was very pleased when later I had the privilege of having him attend my classes. He is 10 years of age and has passion for creating things, lots of them.
Charlie choose this pre-made gourd.

Charlie decided to make a bakery.

First he made an oven. It was made from 1/2 a ping pong ball and covered in air drying clay. Inside the base of the oven - the fire- is an orange flashing light.
He then placed a fake door at the back (this was later be be replaced with a sink). He also built a table.

The internal makeup of how the shelving was to be placed was changed several times but it the end he ended up with them as can be seen here. The long white sausage like object is clay to the height of his character. This was to help with the scale of the furniture.

As can be seen by this photo the door has been removed and a sink (with bubbles) has been located at the back of the bakery.
Doesn't that cake look good enough to eat! All we need is garlic and we are set with the lovely french loaves.

There are several items here (at the back of Charlies house) that he has made himself - the green flower on the ground and the orange one on the left hand corner, the rest were made by me and like all my students they can use them. Charlie liked to have lots of plants all over the outside of his house.

The photo of the finished house will be forthcoming.

STUDENT - Badger House -BH

STUDENT:-Badger House - BH (psuedo name)
BH is 10 years of age. He decided to build a two story house in the pre-made gourd he choose.
I do what I always do get too excited and then forget to take photos. This is the pre-made house with the attic BH has added.

BH's attic is filled with an old couch and boxes plus a small ladder.

The back of the house has been decorated with all manner of 'things' including a large dragonfly. The 'moss' helps cover up the wires for the lights.

Inside BH's house there is a flat screen TV, a play station (the controls are sitting on the chair), a Japanese style lamp a fish tank sitting on the small cupboard plus a bed and clock on the wall.

The lamp was made from piping with a paper doily glued to it. The fish tank was made from the packaging of batteries with sand (mixed with glue) in the base and fish drawn on to strips of plastic and strategically placed within the sand so they look like they are swimming.

Isn't the badger fabulous. I like badgers. Using some photos of real badgers I took when i was in England earlier this year BH made his. He used aluminum foil as the core and polymer clay over the top. The badger was then cooked.

The house has three lights in it. The battery packs (2) were placed in the base.

Not content to decorate the inside and the back of his gourd BH decided to put in a swing and a waterfall section. This photo was taken while the 'water' was still wet.

It took BH 32hrs (made up of 14 x 2hr lessons) to build and decorate his house.
The cost of the pre-made gourd was $35.00. The lights cost $15. The materials cost $15. The cost of the lessons were mostly $10 an hour but there were four hours at $15 each hour due to the other students finishing their houses and BH decided to continue adding more and more.

I am extremely pleased with this house and the imagination that has gone into it.