Dani’s life as a gourd artist started years ago, quite by accident as most wonderful things do, when she and her husband moved to a small mountain town in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. It was a peaceful place to live, surrounded by trees and wildlife. There was one thing that was in abundance in the mountain forest, and that was Pine Needles. The ground was soft with then but because of the fires that occur in the mountains every year they had to rake up all those pine needles.
As an artist, Dani saw the beauty in these tiny little pine needle bundles and wondered what she could do with them. A search on the internet revealed to her the art of PINE NEEDLE WEAVING. They were beautiful and she loved making them but they took forever to make.
One day an acquaintance gave her a tiny, homegrown gourd and said ‘why not try weaving your pine needles on this”. So she did and fell instantly love, not just with the pine needle rim but with the whole idea of making gourds into art. The San Bernardino Mountains was only a short drive to Fallbrook California where the Welburn Gourd Farm was hosting an “International Gourd Festival”. Dani attended several of the classes and brought home everything she needed to paint, carve, wood burn and weave on gourds. A new passion was born.
Although Dani has done all kinds of designs, from floral to doodling, her focus is on Southwestern. She loves Native American Inspired Art and it comes through in her gourd art. Her primary love is wood burning, followed by weaving dreamcatchers. She has also done many Gourd Urns wood burning beloved pet portraits for lasting memorials. She has shipped her gourds as far away as Australia.
When Dani is not working with gourds she is making pottery. She has a pottery studio in a small town in Oklahoma where a corner of it is devoted to gourd art. She and her husband live on three acres with a big pond, two cocker Spaniels, noisy ducks and geese and a small orchard.
GOURD ART TUTORIALS NOW AVAILABLE
If you ever wanted to try your hand at making a gourd drum or weave a beautiful DreamCatcher in a gourd I have just released tutorials on these two subject. Each instant download pdf tutorial is filled with high quality color photos (as well as plenty of text) to walk and guide you through these two techniques.
This year, 2013, is my first year for attempting to grow my own. The photo above shows my success!! Hum… these look like they will become wonderful drums!
I have a website devoted to gourd art at www.gourdgoddess.com where I show my latest work, write up how to’s and blog about techniques and supplies. You are always welcome there!
Latest Post on GourdGoddess.com:
I get asked quite often about the equipment I use so I thought I would do a quick review on The RAZERTIP WoodBurner that I use.
When I first got involved in gourds I was really taken with the woodburning part so I ran out to the local Hobby shop and picked up a $15.00 fixed tip woodburner, since I really did not know any better.
I plugged it in and tried desperately to replicate some of the fine lines and details I saw in the gourd art world. It took me about 10 minutes (it may have been 10 seconds but I gave it a fair shot) to figure out that this was not the tool to use. It was sporatic and the line was thick and thin and I kept having to wait for the tip to heat up.
But I really wanted to burn!!
Painting fall colored leaves on a gourd.
This is the time of year when I always feel drawn to do a traditional Fall Leaf gourd. I had this gourd sitting in my collection for many many years without a clue on what to do with it. This year the message came through loud and clear.
“I want to be a gourd bowl for someones thanksgiving table!!”
Its a rather large gourd and I envisioned it beautifully adorned with bright fall leaves and a fall flower arraignment in the bowl.
To begin I drew overlapping oak leaves all over it. Because of the amount of leaves and because I had them all overlapping and twisting and turning, just like in nature, I would draw some and then burn them in using my Razertip wood burner and the large skew, which is my “go to” blade for just about everything.
I did not cut the top out before doing this because I was uncertain at this point what I wanted to do. When I work I do not preplan anything. I will start with an idea and let it grow from there. Read More
Fall Came early during the Fall Leaf Painting Class in Poteau OK
Here is southeast Oklahoma, the leaves are just beginning to turn. By next weekend I would say, the entire area will be brilliant with glowing shades of red, yellows, oranges and green. It lasts several weeks, and its one of my favorite times here.
Seeing all these colors are inspirational to gourd artists and a very traditional method of decorating them is painting fall leaves all over them!!
Just last week I held a class at the local community college where 13 folks painted oak or maple leaves all over gourds. Although I brought in a sample each student painted their gourds in their very own style, which I encourage. We had a ball and I hope they will cherish and display their new vase every fall.