The Wonderful Gourd
Gourds are fascinating for how old a species they are, and for their long association with humans all over the world. Gourds are the non-edible variety of the curcurbits family of squash, melons, cucumbers, and pumpkins. They are never edible, because they are hard-shelled without usable "meat," but that's what has made them invaluable to humans.
Humans have used gourds from prehistoric times as containers, dippers, bowls, spoons, tools, and even musical instruments. Their many versatile shapes and sizes lend themselves to utilitarian service, but also makes them a great medium for artists.
The gourds used by artists dry on the vine and can take up to a year to be fully cured and usable. They then can be painted, carved, wood-burned, dyed, left whole, opened, or used in pieces. No two gourds are alike, and all have characteristics of having been a living, natural material. Sometimes their "flaws" are what make them more unique and adds to the beauty of the finished product.
When you buy one of my gourd art pieces, you will probably notice that the bottom, or flower end, has not been painted. By leaving that part unadorned and visible, I honor the vessel that was once a living entity.