Playing with gourds-what fun! Since retiring from teaching, I have been surrounded by gourds. I love growing them in the garden, watching them climb over everything, hardening them off over the winter, cleaning them inside and out-I just love them. And the best is finally feeling and looking at their unique shapes with all their blemishes and scars until they emerge in a new form.
Gourds are truly "nature's pottery". One of the oldest cultivated crops, they have been used all around the world for storing supplies, hauling water, making cooking and eating utensils, musical instruments, bird feeders & houses, and rattles.
Once they are dried and cleaned, gourds provide a hard surface that can be decorated in a variety of ways. I use a combination of wood burning, staining, painting with acrylics, carving, and basketry for design. My gourds have transformed into vessels, lamps, vases, candle holders, oil lamps, shakerees, and bowls.