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SAGA Newsletter 09/01, page 2.


Gourds and drums merged into lively interactions during our September, 2001 meeting.  Kasin Hunter gave a workshop on how to make gourd drums. She brought 13 different drums and 8 different beaters.  Overview: drums come in a variety of shapes such as conical, cylindrical, goblet and barrel. Every civilization known to mankind has had some kind of drum. The relationship between ALL the elements of playing makes the tone and, thus, the appeal to the player, such as gourd size, gourd wall thickness, thickness of membrane, type of membrane used, type of beater used, if gourd is played against the body or on the floor or on the table top, how hard the beater strikes the head, what weather conditions exist at the time of playing.  After the 1/2 hour workshop, everyone had a chance to find and play the right drum for them. Making gourd drums is a fun project for adult and child alike.



Tips*Techniques*Tips*Techniques*Tips*Techniques*Tips*Techniques*Tips*Techniques*
I was just making some last night (gourd paper.) Take a blender and add cotton sheets of paper that has been torn-up into the blender. Then add an equal or three fourths of the amount of gourd pulp (this is the dried pulp from the iside of the dried gourd that the seeds are located in and around) to the blender and add water, about 1/2 way up in the blender. Mix this well and it should have a pulp like look to it. Strain the pulp in a strainer to get out as much water as possible. Then, place the pulp in a mold and take a sponge and sponge off as much water as possible. Let this either sit overnight to dry completely or, you can do it in the microwave 2-minutes on high, remove and let steam, then another two minutes on high in the microwave. Remove, cool and remove from the mold. Before putting the pulp in the mold spray it with a vegetable coating. It helps to get the paper out of the mold once it is dry. If you don't like it, put it back in the blender and try again. So, is this as clear as mud??? - Jean.

More of the same:
I can add to the paper making method that I learned in a College course. For what it's worth, we cooked our pulp with a tsp of lye (draino).  You can later add Chlorox to bleach.

We put the pulpy water over one screen and let the water drain out.  If you recess your screen about 1/2" from the top of the frame it will work best. This also prevents your pulpy water from draining away from the screen and makes a uniform sheet. We took another screen and laid it atop the first and pressed the two with damp sponges to soak up more of the water. When you satisfied that it is dry enough, remove one 
 

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