From the summer of 2005 until early 2010 I created dozens upon dozens (see my Gourdations Gallery) of vessels and masks using hard shell gourds. Even though it was dusty, messy work, I loved the process of taking an ugly, moldy, dirty gourd and transforming it into something beautiful. But like a lot of things in life, I grew bored with gourd art--after all, I'd made pitchers, vases, bowls with handles, bowls without handles, bowls with lids, jugs with rims, jugs without rims, jugs with lids, masks, and so on. You get the picture--I was tapped out. Then I was bitten by the assemblage bug and left gourd art behind. Or so I thought. For the past year-and-half or so I've had about a dozen gourds hanging in my garage. I've walked under them probably hundreds of times, and most of those times I've thought "Why don't I throw those damn things out?" Something in me kept me from going through with the deed, so there they hung--until today. I've been talking lately with a woman who owns a neat little shop in my town. She asked if I'd like to have a "trunk show" at her shop in October, a little gig to display some of my (as my kids like to say) "creepy" little assemblages. (Ironically, neither she nor I knew what a "trunk show" was, but it sounds good.) Anyway, I told her I'm up for it, but that's when it hit me... Day of the Dead-inspired masks! I'll turn my remaining gourds into some bizarro skull masks to accompany my assemblage art at this trunk show. Keep checking my blog over the next couple of weeks because I'm going to try and post pictures of the process. Here's pic #1: a "raw" gourd. Notice the dirty, flaky, moldy exterior. Actually, it's no big deal to clean, leaving you with an outstanding surface for just about any medium.
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.