I am a decorative painter; all of my pieces are designed and created by me. Dried cured hardshell gourds are the canvas for my creativity.
Hardshell gourds are from the same family as pumpkin and squash- but are non edible and grown primarily for their utilitarian use. Once they reach full growth in late fall- they begin to dry and cure over the winter months - as opposed to pumpkin, squash and ornamental gourds - which will eventually decay. Once dried and cured they are like wood- “gourd wood”-can be cut carved painted and wood burned; and share many of the properties of it’s durability.
The use of dried hardshell gourds originated in ancient times- by cultures in Asia , Africa and South America as far back as 10,000 BC- as vessels, tools, musical instruments and art pieces.
Each gourd that I use for my artwork is hand selected by me- based on its form feel and intended use. Each piece is painted or ink stained -,then coated with a durable varnish.