Gourd Talks

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Planning a Gourd Journey that won't Overwhelm you.

The artistic journey is the same for every art area. Setting goals and knowing the stepping-stones along the way will give you more confidence and, in the end, save money, time and frustrating moments. It does help to have a plan in mind! My slide presentation will discuss these questions.

How do you decide what gourd skills to learn? Do you need to learn them all? How do you get "the most" out of every class you take? How do you get “a style”? How do you avoid copyright issues? What can you learn from competition? Do you know what your journey's success will look like?

I will make some important points that will set you thinking about why you are part of this art group and hopefully make you feel more confident in calling yourself a gourd artist. Bring notepad and pencil and a desire to be enlighten!

Using “Master " Gourds to Generate Ideas that Will help you Sell Your Work

How can you engage the judge or the buyer to take a real interest in your work? What is that “WOW! Factor” that makes the gourd stand out from the others. I will take you on a slideshow journey, looking at what is working at competitions and in the gourd market. I will suggest ideas you can adapt to your own work. We will also discuss how artists need to communicate their passion for gourd art both verbally and in print. How do you answer that question, why are you a gourd artist? Bring a pencil and notepad for things worth remembering.

Tips on creating a Focal Point when Using Abstract Shapes.

Every piece of visual art needs a focal point. Why? How do you create one that communicates the emotion you intend from the viewer? With visuals, handouts and group activities, I will answer these questions and more. There are, in fact, several ways a gourd can have a focal point. And reasons why everyone works. Using a focal point correctly can be the difference between a First and Second Pace Ribbon. If you are judging gourd competitions, can you explain that to the participate? This is another class that will set you thinking about the “whys” of quality gourd art. You will go home with a handout that will guide your own thinking when you face your next cleaned gourd. Bring a pencil and an open mind.

Tips and Tricks for Getting the Best from your Wood Burner

This is the same presentation discribed in Revealing the Secrets to Wood burning on Gourds but without time at the end to work with the writing tip on a shard. More time is also spent on going over products that work best with a wood burned surface and describes how many of these products actually work on a gourd.


As I travel around talking to gourd artists I have found many with no formal art training. They have lots of creative ideas but can't figure out how to make it happen on a curved surface.

Artists over the past centuries have put together a set of rules we call the Elements and Principles of Design they use with any medium.

Knowing when and how to use them will help you improve the quality of your work and make you feel more confident when sell or must talk about your gourd interest.

I taught young students and student art teachers how to use these rules for over 30 years, so I can present the information to you with a focus on gourd art.

These classes are in two formats. Some are PowerPoint presentations that help focus on the concepts and generate questions and ideas from you and others.

Others include hand-outs and group activities that help you apply my comments to actual gourds. With all of these, we will be talking about gourd art-not making gourd art, so no supplies are necessary.

Most are about two hours long and could be presented in a class schedule at an (in door) festival or as a patch or retreat or group presentation.

If you are planning gourd events and need classes or large group presentations email and I will see what I can do.