Almost everywhere I go talk about my gourd art, or set up displays, I’m asked if I grow my own gourds. My answer is simple…”I try!”.
I’ve reached a point in my art life in which I’m putting in too many hours on creating a piece, for it to fall apart or break due to the gourd itself being too thin. I’ve chosen to support some of the amazing gourd farmers that are out there, like the Dalton’s at Pumpkin Hollow in Arkansas, and Wuertz Farm in Arizona.
But I still give it a shot, mainly to say I did. This year’s attempt is at some mini pear gourds, that have become the main ones used for ornaments and stoppers. I’m trying a teepee style trellis, with sticks from my yard, wrapped in nylon cord.
Not expecting a lot, but wish me luck on this year’s Gourd Adventure 😊
While working on my next big piece, I’ve been contemplating the art I’ve made during January in the past few years. Not only did I find that the pieces were some of my best, but three of the past four have won an award of some sort!
2014 – Date Night (formerly Colored Pear Illuminated) – 1st gourd lamp, won 3rd place in sculpture at 2014 Celebration of the Arts
2015 – Teddy’s Balloon – made for my little man – 1st place in Gourd Magazine Spring 2017 Craft contest (resulting in featured artist for Summer issue)
2016 – Ascension – Honorable Mention at 2016 Artworks Members Only show
2017 – Dream – My largest piece to date – sold during my first setup at the Kentucky Crafted Market
My newest item… Gourd Pen Holders! These fun little pieces incorporate my love and fascination with unique rocks, with my love of gourd art. Using hand-picked unique conglomerate creek rocks as bases, and a hand-drawn gourd mini bowl, decorated with pyrography and nail polish (just like my ornaments and bottle stoppers). Each one is promised to be truly unique and original.
Last year I began a new series of gourd that I call the “Strawberries.” These are made from apple gourds, and feature my starting design of leaves coming from the stem (making the lid), with varying patterns of carving, filigree drilling, pyrography, and alcohol inks, cascading down. I incorporate green and red to resemble a strawberry.
This is the second Strawberry. Keep your eyes open for more, they’ll come around sooner or later 😊🎨
I’ve been working on more and more lamps over the years. I love the way I can do my normal artwork, then incorporate a lighting aspect that “shines a whole new light” on the project. This is the first Fairy Lamp that I’ve drawn out and completed, in July 2016. Featuring a fairy silhouette, surrounded by a fantasy swirl of blue and purple alcohol inks. Supporting design included pyrography, carving, and filigree techniques, which also include coloring with alcohol inks. The gourd is attached to a wood slice for a stand, with a led candelabra light in the bottom.
Dawn (2016) – Gourd vase. This piece features various patterns rising in different directions, surrounded by a sun-like gold glow of the morning. The gourd as a whole does a great job representing my journey as an artist. I’ve taken various paths, trying different techniques, and (thankfully) am still rising, like the sun at Dawn.
This gourd is also the 2nd of 5 gourds that I refer to as the “Accidentals”, which were grown at my mom’s, from discarded seeds along an old fence row within a goat field. Thin, but special.
Dawn found it’s new home during the 2016 Artworks Members Only show.
Ascension (2016) (9″ x 9″) Hand drawn over Christmas break (2015) and completed in January 2016. This gourd features various patterns, ascending upwards with contrasting designs and divergent directions, symbolizing the varying paths I’ve taken while growing my skill and ability with gourd art. Embellished with pyrography, cutting, and carving.
This piece has been in two juried shows, while being awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Artworks Members’ Juried Show (sponsored by the great Cheree Federico Photography).
This gourd lamp, created in January 2016, sits 18 inches high (including stem) and is 7.5 inches at its widest point. The name comes from the center design, a series of hexagons drawn out while experimenting with various shapes. The name continues to fit once you notice the different patterns working together to create on work of art, with its inner light shining through.
Simeck’s Lighthouse was a custom ordered gourd for Christmas 2015. This is the second gourd from SnP Crafts that the recipients now have (and a big thank you to their daughter for ordering them). This piece focused on a popular landmark in their hometown of St. Joseph, Michigan. In St. Joseph there are two lighthouses, the main one that is represented on the front of the gourd, and a smaller one nearest to the water that is actually represented on the back of the gourd (and for some reason, I did not take a photo of it).
It’s a great feeling to be asked to create something like this, and like all of the others that were created to be a special Christmas present. I’m also thankful that the new owners are happy with their new creations from SnP Crafts.