Sunday, November 2, 2014

Gourd Art

Last week, I rediscovered a few gourds "drying" in our garage... In fact, I was searching for them after doing a doll making workshop where we transformed gourds into doll bodies, with the addition of polymer clay and apoxie sculpt.  I have researched a little to identify the gourds I have - they seem closest to the water jug shape gourds.
The gourds we used in the workshop were Chinese bottle gourds. 

my gourd doll - a flower child /hippy fiddler? 
Workshop dolls - Christmas sprite by Jane Lambert , and my doll 
Flower doll also completed in the workshop by Lee Hennequin 
Balloon seller - gourd art doll by tutor, Janice Laurent 
Working with gourds made me very curious about the history and cultivation of gourds. A gourd is a plant of the family Cucurbitaceae or the fruit of the two genera of "calabash tree" . The term refers to a number of species and subspecies, many with hard shells, and some without. Likely one of the earliest domesticated types of plants, subspecies of the bottle gourd have been discovered in archaeological sites dating from as early as 13,000 BC (found in Peruvian archaeological sites dating from 13,000 to 11,000 BC and Thailand sites from 11,000 to 6,000 BC.[5) ]  

Gourds continued to be used throughout history, in almost every culture throughout the world. European contact in North America found extensive gourd use, including the use of bottle gourds as birdhouses to attract purple martins, which provided bug control for agriculture. Almost every culture had musical instruments made of gourds, including drums, stringed instruments common to Africa and wind instruments, including the nose flutes of the Pacific.[10] Gourds have had numerous uses throughout history, including as tools, musical instruments, objects of art, film and food. (From Wikipedia). There are many wonderful gourd artists worldwide  One of my favourites is John Hernandez,whose gourds are beatifully  painted, highly polished and embellished  with sewn pine needles.  I also admire the work of Serena Kovalsky  whose gourds are organic sculptures ... here is a video of some of her amazing work. 

1 comment:

  1. What sweet little dolls! I am always delighted by the cleverness of the creatives such as yourself.

    Thank you for sharing, and for the links to other gourd art. Lovely xx


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