The hardshelled gourd is often called "nature's pottery." For centuries, gourds have served as vessels to hold liquids, seeds, and just about every other imaginable thing. This universal container predates the development of pottery by many centuries. Gourds have been decorated for countless years as well, but beyond the little painted gourds with Santa Clauses, animals and other popular themes seen at at craft fairs, there has emerged an amazing group of fine art gourd artists. Gourd artistry has been taken to a fine art level with this work being displayed in art museums and fine art galleries around the world.
All my designs are done with pyrography, a form of very fine wood burning right into the gourd surface with a temperature controlled tool with a selection of burning tips. Colors are flowed into the design with leather dyes. You will see the stone inlay I also use in several of the examples below, and I have included my photo tutorial of this technique at the end of the short gallery below.
Many of my designs are from the Art Nouveau period adapted from the Paris studios of M. P. Verneuil from 1880 to 1910. I have exhibited across the Gulf South and my work was featured in the best of Mississippi Magazine, 2006. First page of the photo article, "From Vine to Divine" is below. Click the link to download a PDF of the whole article.
Click for PDF of the Whole Magazine article
Below is a brief gallery of my work and at the end, a photo tutorial on stone inlay using the "Inlace" stone inlay system which I hope gourd artist visitors will find interesting.