After the gourds are harvested, the artisan removes the outer green skin with a dull knife, exposing the lighter brown color underneath. Then the gourds are cleaned and dried in the hot Peruvian sun. The artist draws a design onto the gourd with a pencil. Then using a carving tool called a BURIL, the artisan painstakingly removes small pieces of gourd to create a three dimensional version of the original design.
The next step uses the technique of pyrography to establish the contrasts between the carved figures and the gourd. The artist uses pieces of Quinual wood that are in the shape of thick feathers for this process. The tip of the feather is heated in a fire to a glowing ember and then put to the gourd to cause a burn. The artist blows on the ember to vary the intensity of the heat; the harder the artist blows the darker the burn.
Having obtained the color, they wash the gourd to remove the pencil marks and the natural wax so that the gourd will have a better brightness. And again they return to the BURIL to add any final detail in the carving. Check Our Gallery for larger photographs.