Atlanta has this lovely art festival every spring called Dogwood Festival. This is held in Piedmont Park near downtown Atlanta, which has a profusion of dogwood trees. All the trees are usually in full bloom during the festival, and artists from all over the country bring their creations for display and sale in small stalls. With live music, food and as many dogs milling around as people, this festival is very popular in the city, and we always made it a point to go during the years we lived there.
It was there that I first saw crafted gourds and have been wanting to learn to do it myself since. There are a couple of gourd farms in the Georgia mountains north of Atlanta. We visited one of them and bought several dried gourds there, along with some books on the subject.
Outside, they had these huge, funny gourd masks that Raghav just had to try on.
Since then, it's been an ongoing effort to learn this art form, and I've been making slow progress. This first piece is called Women of the World and I copied it from a book by Dyan Mai Peterson, trying to figure out how it all works.
I really like the effect when pine needles are woven along the top of the gourds. This is a very common technique, and was fun to learn.
I also bought a Native American pattern book, modified some of their basic designs, and combined with some of my own for this gourd.
This plant holder was easy to make, and has been put to good use too!
The smell of burnt gourd when I use the wood burning tool to first draw on the designs is pretty intoxicating! There's only so much time, and there are all these lovely gourds still waiting for an identity!
If any of you carves gourds too, I'd be very much interested in talking to you about it. I'm still trying to figure out the best tools to use and where to get them cheap. I've just been using the most basic tools from Home Depot, and there's only so much you can do with those. Before investing in better tools, I need to do some groundwork. If you can give me any tips (or even if not), would love to hear from you!