Sunday, August 21, 2011

Additional gourds from summer 2011

We have been working on producing gourds for a new show we have entered for this fall.  It's the art show at Ball's Falls Conservation area near St. Catharine's, ON.
It has been going for several years and has a reputation for offering fine arts and crafts, so we are hoping that we will do well.  Gourds in Ontario are not big sellers in most markets.
I have been weaving and coiling on several pieces, which I refer to as my production gourds, since they are geared to sell and are not extremely complicated, so I can do them fairly quickly.  I haven't really been exploring my more complex coiling designs for a year or so.  I'm hoping to find my muse one day soon and get motivated.

This gourd is tall and slim and very delicate looking. It is constructed of three pieces
of gourd, fully carved and the centre section gessoed and pencil crayoned.
The base is made in two sections. The lower section has a relief carved motif of leaves around the edge.
The second section is also carved and gives a 3D effect to the base.  The gourd was left unfinished and sealed with Deft.

The top few inches of the gourd have been carved through in a leaf pattern with the motif from the base repeated.  Below the pencil crayoned section, there is an additional section of sculptural carving.  Both these sections have been left natural and sealed with Deft.

Below are a few of the pieces that I have been working on.  Nothing too elaborate, alas.

This is one of my weaving pieces.  I used paper core, danish cord, dyed reed and pandora-style glass beads.  It is quite large.

This one has blue dyed reed woven over black round reed. A round base was made
from a gourd piece and attached.

This is a fairly large fruit bowl, done using round reed and dyed caning material. A small gourd base has been added.

Very large gourd base, with dyed reed and caning material to form a basket.

Something different.  Gary had done a sample carving for one of his classes on half a gourd and was going to throw it out.  I used round reed to make a frame around it and it will be a wall plaque.

More to come, since we need to have a lot more stock for October.  I'm going to have to stop sitting on my thumbs and actually start producing.

Summer 2011

Well summer 2011 has flown by, with not much gourding done on my part.  I seem to have started a new career without really planning it.  I've been face painting almost every weekend this summer, and that seems to be where my creative juices are flowing.

I did promise my friend in Michigan that I would update my blog to show her Gary's latest works, so Lynette, this is for you.

This vase is fairly large, and is constructed from two almost perfectly round basketball gourds, and a couple of bits from other gourds.  The internal gourd is carved through in an open work design, and then painted and metal leafed.

A collar was created from a snake gourd piece, and added to the smaller ball to give it shape and depth.  The collar was carved and painted and attached to 'flying buttresses".
The buttresses were cut from the second basketball gourd, carved and painted and had joining pieces added on the bottom so that the outer gourd would fit snuggly.  The additional pieces were also carved from gourd bits.

The bottom section of the second basketball gourd was fully carved  and painted to look like a piece of bronze. It was mounted on a round section of gourd.

Notice the pegs on the top of the supports.  They fit into the buttresses and are glued to give strength.

This is the view from the top.  You can see that the added collar and buttresses have been smoothed to form a throat into the body of the gourd. You can also see the design in more detail.

The pieces were then glued together to form the whole.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Murphy's Law

Murphy has struck again!
Two of Gary's gourds that were given to family members, have met with accidents.

The large dragon gourd, which is about 2 feet round was shattered during home renovations by "unknown" assailants. I think someone dropped a 2X4 on it. LOL We've promised our niece and nephew that we will repair it if possible.

The Samurai Warrior was given to my son in North Carolina and was proudly displayed on his mantle. It is made up of several parts, all carved and decorated with Inlace, which has also been carved and inlaid with a second colour. His curious cat wanted to check it out, and bumped it off onto the floor. I'm not sure if we can repair it, since we haven't seen it yet.

Oh well, if pieces of art are going to be displayed I guess you have to expect that bad things can happen!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gary has finished his 2011 spring project. Mine is still incubating (going on a year now, almost as long as an elephant's pregnancy!)

Just as many artists use cultural symbols in their work, such as Santa Fe, tribal motifs, eskimo art symbols etc, Gary likes to relate to his ancestry with Celtic weaving, and tie the cultural beliefs and symbols into his designs.
He is moving away from the traditional bowl configuration and is now working on sculptural pieces. His latest piece is along the same lines as his last sculpture, but a bit larger, and more detailed.
It's a canteen gourd that has been taken apart, carved and painted to resemble a bird's nest and put back together.
The front is a pencil crayon drawing of a Macaw, showing all the beautiful colours of the feathers.

The sides are a carved and painted profile of the Macaw with cut-outs so that you can see into the interior of the nest. Inside are 10 golden eggs.

The back is inverted and fully carved with a celtic motif of two parrots interacting. Rather appropriate for inside the privacy of their nest, I think!

The top is carved in scrollwork that says "Parrot Nest".

A friend found the following information on the site of Sacred earth-Sacred art.
CELTIC MYTHOLOGY: MACAW known for their higly coloured and exotic plumage, these birds are highly intelligent and resourceful creatures with a great sense of fun. The energy of this bird is said to symbolize bringing 'colour and vibrancy' back into our lives, and also aid our communicative skills. Also thought to help us with both 'emotional and physical healing'. The feathers of the Macaw are highly prized by some cultures and are used in ceremonial costumes. To work with Macaw energies is to link with the energies of Mother Nature. Macaw can help us to increase our psychic and spiritual development. This bird is also strongly allied to the energies of the Sun, and therefore linked with masculine energies, helping to bring balance to the male and female aspects of self. It is also believed that Macaw energies can aid us by helping us to heighten our perceptions, our intuition, our understanding of our inner voice. Thought also to help with calming emotional anxieties and bringing about a sense of balance.