Lifestyle Book Reviews

Book Review: Beyond the Basics: Gourd Art

By Sandy Amazeen Aug 20, 2008, 5:34 GMT

Book Review: Beyond the Basics: Gourd Art

A common wild gourd becomes a thing of beauty in the hands of 25 top artisans who specialize in exploring, expressing—and teaching—their handiwork. Magnificent projects shown in illuminating full-color photos and practical skills introduce you to a universe of ways to turn gourds into works of art. Learn to use simple media such as staining, stenciling, carving, and pyrography, which are all clearly explained. Projects include an elaborate teapot with ...more

Creating beautiful works of art from dried gourds is an ancient practice that is enjoying resurgence thanks in part to the wide variety of tools now available. After a brief overview of selecting, cleaning and cutting gourds, the book moves into twenty-four artist profiles with a project from each. Step-by-step instructions include detailed, close-up photography allowing readers to see how each project was constructed while demonstrating burning, stenciling, painting, sculpting, inlaying and texturing techniques.

The many stunning projects to choose from include Karen Brown’s carefully constructed Gourdberry Tree lamp, Colleen Platt’s dramatic Chalice & Blade Pendant and Cindy Lee’s technique of adding pine needle coiling onto a finished gourd. There is serious eye-candy for anyone with a passing interest in gourd art. Many of the design ideas or techniques could be easily transferred into polymer clay or hand built pottery making this a nice reference source for the price.


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