Thursday, February 21, 2013

Great Gourd Giveaway ~ Gourd # 5

I made a promise to five people to commit my time, my energy, and a portion of my life to giving them something homemade - by me.  Those five people did not know what I would make for them when they participated on my Facebook post declaring I would give away something homemade to the first five people to leave a comment.
I am a semi-crafty person, so for all the five people knew I would be sending them a purse/bag crocheted from plastic grocery sacks. Or, I could be sending them a bracelet or necklace made from hand crafted paper beads. I enjoy crocheting with unusual materials and throwing a magazine away is like throwing away a jewelry box filled with beautiful bracelets and necklaces! But, I decided to artistically use and give away 5 gourds. In addition to crocheting and making paper beads, I am a gourd artist and I am a bit crazy. I have blogged about the gourds I worked upon and gave away, and this little photo enhanced blog post is of gourd number 5, the last gourd that fulfills my promise and brings and end to this particular journey in creativity.

The gourd in the photo above is the only one that will remain locally. Of the 5 gourds  I gave away in the Great Gourd Giveaway 2 are now in California, 2 in Oregon and this one will remain in Colorado where I live. When I begin to work with a gourd I may think I have an idea but I never really know what I will end up doing. The gourd in the photo is cleaned and awaiting its new look. I take into account the texture and the patterns and the gourds thickness. There are times when a gourd can fool me and I do not see its imperfections until I have committed too much time and I then need to draw upon my problem solving ability and make the gourd submit to being a beautiful piece of art in spite of itself! Lucky for me and for gourd number 5 there were no flaws to work with or around.

When I first began to use gourds creatively I made what I called Fairy Houses. But now, I am more drawn toward making gourd bowls. Sometimes I will make the bowl lidded, but most often not. I get a lot of my inspiration from Art Nouveau. I love natural form and structure of our organic world and my love is often reflected in my gourd art. In the image above I am drawing onto the gourd intertwining vines with very few leaves. This style of vine I use often, and have done so since my very first gourd. Sometimes the leaves are larger, sometimes more prolific and sometime I omit leaves all together.

I was remiss in documenting how I burn the design I create into the gourds body. If you read my older blogs you can see my process using pyrography as part of the overall visual aesthetics of my designs. In the photo above you can see that I have cut the top of the gourd off. Removing the top makes the gourd into a bowl. Gourds are hollow and very easy to clean out. You can also see that I have begun painting this gourd a beautiful red. The bowls I craft are not for food. My bowls are ornamental and should never be placed outside for decorative purposes for they will breakdown. Gourds are by design seed pods and when a gourd is repeatedly exposed to water and direct sun it will split developing cracks and the paint will peel off too. I have had someone "forget" and when I saw the gourd a few years later, which they had hung outside, it was unrecognizable!

Gourd number 5 done! I was thrilled when I was able to report to the gourd's new owner that they could drive over at anytime and pick up their gift. My promise fulfilled! I admit this gourd bowl is one of my favorites. Not only is this gourd beautiful it is one of a kind. It is impossible to recreate because the design is out of my head, spontaneous at the time of drawing in addition to the fact that no two gourds are alike!

Looking down into gourd number 5 you can see how deciding to paint the inside black really enhanced the overall appearance of this bowl. As I mentioned, I cannot make two gourds alike but I can use similar techniques. I am thinking I will make more in this style.

While I was making the five artsy gourd pieces for those who responded to my offer, I also made four other gourds for customers. I have been busy and very thankful for this adventure that I signed myself up for. I loved having to produce. I loved having to be creative. I loved getting back into doing what I love to do most and that is expressing my creative side.

I will be blogging about my gourds more and more. I enjoy documenting my process and sharing the end results too! I have people ask me how much my gourds cost and that is hard to answer because each gourd is unique. The price of my gourds is governed by my design and the size of the gourd itself. My gourds start at $100 and go up from there, my most expensive so far being $700.
I do take orders and will use personal information as a way to get to know my customer's likes but I do not let my customers tell me what to do with the gourd.

Until my next creative adventure take care,


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