After thirty one years in elementary education it was time for slowing down and finding a new passion. As a nature lover, I find gourd art to be relaxing, rewarding, and intriguing. There always seems to be a new technique to be learned or created, keeping this art form fun and exciting. When people think of gourds, they visualize those colorful little squash-like things that decorate a Thanksgiving table. That’s a soft-shelled gourd, which is not my canvas. When I think of gourds, I immediately begin to visualize how those hard-shelled orbs of nature can be transformed into sculptural vessels through carving, stippling, filigree, painting, and pyrography.
If the skin is light enough, I prefer to use transparent acrylics and inks so the natural markings of the gourd shows through. If the shell is thick enough, it calls for carving. And this is where my new micro carver that I acquired, thanks to the BOMH Professional Development Grant, has the muscle I need. Prior to this I had a portable carver, but it was constantly stalling out on me, which indicated that I did not have enough power for what I was trying to do. My new BP 50 micro carver provides greater RPMs and far more torque which is needed for those bigger jobs. It cuts like ‘buttah’. Deep carving techniques no longer result in stalling or hand and wrist pain, which allows for longer and more enjoyable carving periods.
I truly enjoy introducing people to this art form just about as much as I enjoy creating the pieces. Join me on May 9th for a demonstration and who knows, maybe you’ll catch the gourd art bug, too.
Join us for a Best of Missouri Hands Professional Development Workshop with Pat Berkbigler on Tuesday May 9, 2023 at 10:00 AM. We will chat with Pat about winning the BOMH Professional Development Grant and how she is using the money to help further her artistic goals.
Log into www.zoom.us and put in the following information.
Meeting ID: 848 6187 8378 Passcode: 670070