I have been involved with handicrafts and textile arts for over 30 years, and in 1988 became aware of the use of gourds as a medium for creative expression. While gourds have been used by humans for well over ten thousand years, they have only recently been rediscovered by the art and craft community. My projects have included utilitarian projects for daily use in the home, as well as decorative items using many different media for embellishment. In addition to creating gourd art, for the past several years I have explored the history and cultural uses of gourds around the world. Museums and private collections reveal a fascinating but largely unexplored use of gourds by every culture in the temperate and tropical zones of the world throughout history. I have collected examples from many cultures, representing a wide variety of uses and applications of gourds around the world. It has been my experience that the general public is fascinated by gourd objects, historical and contemporary, frequently relating them to memories of objects used in their past. Gourd Art is quickly becoming a recognized art form by collectors around the world.
Because no comprehensive books existed on the topic, I wrote the best-selling Complete Book of Gourd Craft (Lark Books). Since its publication in 1996, I have been busy touring the country giving lectures, demonstrations, and artist workshops. In response to questions and great interest, I wrote and published a second book, Gourds In Your Garden: A Guidebook for the Home Gardener, which was released in January, 1998. A third book, Making Gourd Musical Instruments is now available and highlights up to 50 instruments from around the world, complete with instructions how to make and play them.The most recently released book Gourd Craft, published by Lark Books is now available. It features 20 gourd craft projects with complete instructions including color step-by-step photographs. (See the "Books in Publication" page for illustrations and ordering information on these books.)
My greatest passion remains gourd crafting. Most of my artwork is created from gourds grown in my garden in Los Altos Hills and from commercial gourd vendors in California and Ohio..
- National Weaving Convention - CONVERGENCE, Cincinnati, June 21-25, 2000. A workshop on basic gourd crafting, two presentations on gourd musical instruments, and a lecture/slide presentation on gourds 'past and present'.
- Hidden Villa, Los Altos Hills, Ca. 1994 - 1996
- Black Sheep Weavers Guild March 1995
- San Jose Garden Group April 1995
- Trampornas Weaving Guild June 1995
- Los Altos Library, Los Altos, Ca. June 1995
- Cultural Kaleidoscope, East Palo Alto, Ca. Aug. 1995
- Caning Shop, Berkeley, Ca. 1995 - 1996
- Keys School, Palo Alto, Ca. 1995 - 1996
- Palo Alto Cultural Center, Palo Alto, Ca. ongoing
- Conference of Northern Calif. Handweavers June 1998
- Perrysburg School District, Perrysburg, Ohio October 1996
- Coupeville Arts Center, Coupeville, Washington March 1997
- Southeast Fiber Forum, Birmingham, Alabama April 1997
- Fine Line Art Center, St. Charles, Illinois June 1997
- American Gourd Society, Mt. Gilead, Ohio October 1996, 1997
- February 2000, Lost Altos Hills City Hall
- Expressions Gallery, Los Altos 1994 - present
- Lundscapes Gallery, Lund, British Columbia 1994-1995
- The Birds Nest, Rutherford, Ca. 1994
- Filoli Estate, Woodside 1995
- Los Altos Library, Los Altos, Ca. June, July 1995
- "Outta Your Gourd" Show, Santa Fe, New Mexico Oct. 1995
- American Gourd Society Show, Mt. Gilead, Ohio 1994-1997
- Hitachi Data Systems, Santa Clara, CA April-July 1996
- Quantum Data Corp., Milpitas, CA April-July 1997
- Los Atos Hills City Hall, CA Nov.-Dec. 1997
Articles and Publications:
- Several articles in The Gourd, the official newsletter of the American Gourd Society
- The Complete Book of Gourd Craft, Lark Publications, Altamont Press, Asheville, North Carolina.
- Gourds in Your Garden. Hillway Press, Los Altos, California, January 1998.
- Making Gourd Musical Instruments, Sterling Publishing Co, Newy York, NY
My work has also been included in these publications:
- The Complete Book of Nature Craft Techniques, Deborah Morganthal, Rodale Press, 1996.
- The Lampshade Book, Dawn Cusick, Lark Publications, Asheville, North Carolina, 1996.
- The Crafter's Book of Santas, Leslie Dierks, Sterling Press, New York, New York. Fall 1996.
- Birdhouse Book, Deboral Morganthal, Lark Publications, Asheville, North Carolina (to be released Fall, 1997).
- The Complete Book of Christian Crafts, Deborah Morganthal, Lark Publications, Asheville, North Carolina (to be released Fall, 1997).
- Macrame. Sunset Books, Lane Publishing, Menlo Park, Ca. 1971 (revised ed. 1975)
(I was primary consultant for this book. General instructional format followed sequence and materials from a class I taught in Palo Alto Adult Education. Also included were many of my projects which illustrated specific knotting techniques.)
Articles about me:
- SF Chronicle, February 11, 2000
- San Jose Mercury News, December 8, 1994. This article was syndicated and appeared in approximately 30 newspapers around the country.
- San Jose Mercury News, June 24, 1994.
Affiliations and Memberships:
- American Gourd Society, Assoc. editor of journal The Gourd
- California Gourd Society
- The Calabash Club, Palo Alto, CA
- Bay Area Basket Makers Guild
- Black Sheep Weavers Guild
- Trampornas Weaving Guild, President-1995-1997
- Community School of Music and Art, Mountain View, Ca. Board member
- Festival of Lights Parade Association, Los Altos, Ca. Board member
- Friends of Library, Los Altos, Ca.
- 1958-1962: Stanford University, B.A.: Major in Child Psychology
- 1962-1963: Stanford University, M.A.: Speech Pathology