Tag Archives: calabash

Library kicks

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Lynda Barry

my sketchbook

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gourd stamps

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CALABASH-carved African stamps for adinkra cloth

drawn from John Gillow’s book, “African Textiles”

It was a different exercise to draw and shade these shapes after reading sections of Lynda Barry’s HILARIOUS and INSPIRING book.  Very different.

It is full of tips about how to keep drawing, why to keep drawing, and funny, funny vignettes as well.

The book, African Textiles, is mine and I have barely scratched its surface – ALSO inspiring.  For those who don’t know, adinkra fabrics are produced by the West Coast Africans in Ghana.  The process described by Gillow goes like this — makers carve the gourds and create a handle from palm splints.  The printer draws a grid onto the cloth that is to be stamped.  “A thick dark goo” is made by boiling badee tree root bark that has been mixed with iron slag.  The printer then prints with the gourd stamps onto the cloth and the fabric is then hung outside overnight “to catch the dew”.