Where Have All The Gourds Gone

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TheWhale13

Can't Leave
Aug 12, 2021
382
1,927
Sweden
Apparently, the process is very laborious like Bob said, I don't think there would ever be a reason for any farmers to start that process again. The art form is probably all but dead by now anyway.
 

mingc

Lifer
Jun 20, 2019
2,918
7,127
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
As I understand it, they're African Bottle Gourds, but they have to be shaped as they are growing to get the bend required for pipes.
 
Aug 9, 2013
29,331
53,054
Helena, Alabama
I've grown gourds with absolutely no plans for them. And, if you don't do something with them soon after harvest, they really don't last very long. You have to at least cure them and store them in a dry place, or else by the next season they are just rotten squashes.

I can say, that having tried to cure them and sell them at farmer's markets that NO ONE buys them. They are neat and make for an attractive booth display, but there's really no point in growing them unless you have a contact with someone who needs a lot of gourds for crafts and such. They take up a lot of garden space, and curing is just another "involved" task for a gardener.

Even for pipemakers, I really haven't seen a pipemaker cranking out large numbers of gourd calabashes. Even Skip, after requesting some gourds, just selected one and then watched me put the rest into the garbage.
 
Jun 23, 2019
1,542
10,458
All this gourd talk reminding me I've been neglecting my Altinay commission... Here's a picture of her:



The bowl is colored up from smoke now but this picture was when she was new. I think I don't think I smoke it enough because I don't have a calabash pipe stand, if anyone have a lead on a decent one I'd much appreciate a link!
 

Egg Shen

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 26, 2021
262
729
Pennsylvania - north of Philly
Seriously. Where are they?

I don't mind a nice briar calabash, in fact I'm thinking of commissioning one.

That being said, it seems like I see no new gourd calabashes. Yanik is doing some pretty cool stuff but the fact remains he's not using the iconic smooth gourd.

What gives?
i agree pickings are slim and prices are high on this style. I eventually want one but since I don’t always want a smoke that spans hours I’m not sweating it. Was actually hoping to stumble onto one in a yard sale or antique shop than actually seeking a new one online. $600-700 is a lot for a pipe for me.
 
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Ahi Ka

Lifer
Feb 25, 2020
4,197
18,777
Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Do you plan to carve meer inserts, yourself, or what?
If I can get a bend on any which would suit a pipe I’d probably either purchase an insert or fill it with plaster of Paris and try drilling out a chamber. It’s just for a bit of fun. The main reason we are growing them is for seed preservation of the “hue” gourd that was used traditionally for bottles, plates or musical instruments