When Gourds Become Art

September 17, 2014 by Miranda

It's hard to beat an evening of art, wine, dessert and great conversation!

The Musketaquid’s Fall Salon series opened last Thursday with gourds – one of the world’s oldest, most recognizable and universal plants.  When dried, their shell can be cut to make bowls, ladles, and other tools.  It is not certain where gourds originated or how they traveled the globe, but they can be seen in many a museum’s collection of cultural artifacts from almost every continent.

We weren’t sure how the gourd selection would go.  Grown last summer in the Musketaquid Art Garden, a pile sat on the table to choose from -- ranging from the iconic hour-glass shape in perfect condition, to the misshapen discolored -- but beautiful -- oddity. But somehow, one of them spoke to each person and thence began some contemplation and imagination.  

One person cut the top off their gourd for a vase, another cut a hole to make a birdfeeder.  As patterns and eyes were drawn on the skin, a few snakes even began to emerge around the table! As we progressed, more individuality came out.  Do you have a dowel?  A tool to make holes around the rim?  Yarn?  Lanyard?  Paints?  Mod Podge and tissue paper for decoupage?

The conversation ranged from kids, schools, and bullying to personal and professional moves.   West Coast vs East Coast friends, the challenges doctors face in having a normal life, and one person’s amazing house, chicken coop and menagerie.

The end result? New friendships, a greater appreciation for the simple but beautiful gourd, a chance to express our creativity – and some new art to take home.  

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