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Tips from Old Millrat - James D. Thompson


Gourd Art 2

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About a year ago, I became interested in gourd art. An artist in my carving club showed me some of her work, and I was just blown away. She has since taught me some of her techniques. These techniques are not particularly easy to learn.

The color mixing process consists of white glue to which you add acrylic paint. Not pouring one into another and mixing, but by gradual adding and swirling. The technique can be learned, but it can't be taught. I made several ugly messes before I finally caught on. She also taught me how to apply copper wire to add a different dimension to a gourd. This was another adventure. I messed up the pattern twice before she held my hand and walked me through it.

There was an "AHA!" moment when I finally saw how it worked.

The work of my mentor is dainty, formal, and very precise. Mine is bold and colorful, and a little abstract. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

My thought here was an ocean grotto with the blue being the sea, the shell reinforcing that, some copper pebbles as sand. The same copper pebbles around the edge reflect the sand in the bottom.

The base is close in color to the interior. It was turned and then painted. I like for my gourds to have a little visual surprise inside. That's the function of the shell.

The shell can be removed so the piece can have 2 different looks. The shell was painted to go with the interior, and when it is inside the gourd, the reflected color of the interior seems to make the shell look the same.

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