Kathleen Troutman Gourd Art

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HOW I DO IT

Raw gourd
--v Gourds have to be scrubbed, scraped and bleached before they can be used as a dimensional canvas, and that gives me time to really inspect each gourd-see what design it seems to be asking for. Sometimes I make a container, sometimes a bowl, sometimes I love the shape of the gourd and I don't cut it at all.
--0v I usually draw the design in pencil first, then go over it with a burner. The Pyrography technique gives the design depth and allows me to fill in color more accurately. Many times, I don't draw in pencil at all, especially for the dragon series. I'm interested in what happens with the gourd and the heat. It takes longer, but I don't time myself when I'm making art.
0 That brings me to the question I hear so much: "how long does it take you to do one of these?" I don't know-and I don't care. I usually draw many gourds before I begin working in color. When I start drawing, I just want to draw. When I start coloring, I just want to color. I don't look at the clock and I know that gets me in trouble! I probably spend several hours on any gourd ornament when you factor in cleaning, scrubbing, and scraping time.
0 When I am making containers I cut the lids after the outside has been cleaned and scrubbed, the whole design has been burned in, then I scrape the inside, paint it and FINALLY start applying color. It's a long process and I am process oriented so it's all very fascinating to me. No two gourds are alike, and they don't take heat or color the same so I never really know how something is going to turn out until it is finished. So how long does it take to make one? I don't know.
 
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Kathleen Troutman - Multimedia Artist

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