About Our Art
Growing up I wanted a wood burner. I had no idea what I would make with it, it just fascinated me that you could make so many shades with heat and that realistic scenes could be burned into wood. Decades later I fianlly purchased a wood burner, took a class and have been enjoying using it ever since. You can burn on almost anything – wood, plexi-glass, canvas, leather – but currently my primary medium is gourds.
Gourds offer challenges that many other mediums do not. The gourd skin can vary in texture making it burn quickly in some areas and more slowly in others. Some are thicker than others, some more fragile than others. They have to be cleaned inside and out. There is also the curve of the gourd to take into account. Curves can make it difficult to get wood burning, cutting and coloring tools as well as embellishments into the spaces where you want them. The shape of the gourd influences what it will become – a bowl, a vase, a decorative art piece….
Like many artists I enjoy working with new materials and exploring the possibilities of combining multiple types of media into one finished piece. When I started wood burning I was content to burn on a piece of wood and color it. Having a strong connection to nature, I would typically depict plants, animals or nature scenes. However, the discovery of gourds, a 3-D vessel that you can cut, carve, burn and color allowed me to see the possibilities of incorporating weaving, basketry, knot-less netting and other practices into my work.
Since taking that initial wood burning class I have been enjoying every minute I can spend incorporating new ideas and creating new designs. Currently I am utilizing thin strips of wood to enhance my gourd designs, but tomorrow will bring new possibilities…