Gourden of Eden

Handcrafted gourd art by Annette Sprouls-Reasoner.

The Artist’s Statement

Gourds have been a part of civilization for centuries, with species having been discovered in archaeological sites as early as 13,000 BC. Gourds have been used as bowls, water vessels, utensils, musical instruments, birdhouses and medical aids. Gourds also lend themselves to the aesthetic, enjoying a popular resurgence as an art form of their own.

Transforming a gourd into a functional item requires a process of cutting open the hard shell of the dried gourd and cleaning out the layer of natural material that grows inside. Though many tools exist to facilitate this process, it is no longer compatible with my arthritic hands. I no longer create items one might call functional; instead using the cannonball gourd in its natural shape to create a work of art.  Amplifying the colors found in nature, repeating the geometric forms present in all of nature, I create on each gourd a small universe of its own; an object which exists for no reason other than its aesthetic.

Annette Sprouls-Reasoner received her BFA in painting from Texas Tech University (1985).  She continued her training with an MFA in painting from Texas Woman’s University in Denton (1988). 

Years later, Sprouls-Reasoner bought a Peruvian gourd at a neighborhood yard sale.  She became fascinated with gourds, dove deeper into the subject, and began using them as a medium for her artwork.  She regularly exhibits on the First Friday Art Trail in Lubbock, Texas.  Additionally, she’s a proud member of the American Gourd Society. 

For more information on upcoming exhibits, click here.


Do you grow your own gourds?

I don’t.  To flourish, gourds require an enormous amount of water and fertilizer.  I source mine from a farmer in Arizona.

What materials do you use?

I use mostly colored pencils, leather dye, and inlaid stones.

How do I take care of my gourd?

These pieces require a little care.  I recommend keeping them out of direct sunlight and excessive heat.

Are these really gourds?


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