Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Taking a Break

Yesterday I sat for a moment on the studio porch.  I was taking a break from my gourds and recharging my cordless drill.  I decided that I must get twenty-five new gourds done before my Wild Gourd Studio Open House on November 12, 13 and 14th.  The drill is the most critical tool for cleaning the inside of the gourds.  I will attach to the drill a wire brush or a ball like thing with an abrasive coating to put inside the gourd to remove the membrane that sticks to the inside.  This is the second worst job of gourd work, it is dusty and because of the inside particles of dust mold, I must wear a mask and use my dust collector.  Not the most Zen kind of moments that people think about when they think of "artists". 

The first worst job is cleaning the mold from the outside before you can open the gourd and clean the inside.  Washing the mold is dirty and messy and requires old clothes, a good pot scrubber and lots of water.  It is all part of the process and when these two things are finished I can enjoy the next steps to creating.  Then I can become the artist and stop being the laborer. 

When I work on cleaning the inside of the gourds, my mind wanders, I listen the the music in the Cd player, it is most always flute music.  I think about the performers playing for me in the studio, I have met so many of them, enjoyed their classes, gone to their concerts.  It amazes me the journey the gourds have taken me on, a totally unexpected journey.  Then I remember all the amazing people I have come to know because of gourds.  My gourd supplier, my faithful collectors and the other admirers of my work, they all make me smile.

I started going to Fine Art Shows, selling my gourds because I couldn't stop making them, I knew I couldn't keep them all!  I was then exposed to the sound of the Native American flute during this time.  Then my gourds started changing, I stopped fighting my desire to do designs from the southwest, I started listening to my heart now.  I often ponder when everything in my life started to change.  I have been making gourd art for eleven years now, I am hoping to give an inventory number to my two thousandth gourd before November!  That doesn't count the many Santa's and Snowmen made, the ornaments and necklaces.  I only number the things that are my original designs and big enough to be considered collectible. I rarely make Santa's or snowmen now, it just doesn't feel right.

During this time I have learned to play the Native American style flute.  It was a surprise to me that I could play and I found that it seemed to fit somehow with my gourd art designs.  It seems both were allowing me to express something inside that I didn't know existed.  It felt like such a natural thing to me, creating these designs and playing the flute.  When you come to visit my studio, I hope that you can feel the spirit that lives in this peaceful place.  I am weaving a story in the designs on the gourds, I play my flutes and drum my drums for the gourds.   I burn sage and say prayers here too.   All these things are woven into the heart of the gourd work and it fills my life with gratitude.

My break is soon over, there are other things I could be doing while the drill battery is charging.  I work on the post card mailing for the open house.  A mailing of almost 600 cards will go out with the date of the open house and featuring guest artist and flutemaker, Billy Crowbeak.  I get excited, oh, I know it is still September.  Time is getting away from me, no time to sit on the porch and day dream while flute music plays in the background.  

Now I am wondering why I am writing a blog, I have gourds waiting! 


  1. This is beautiful. My life is taking a similar path, though not as an artist. As I open myself to listening to the wisdom of the Grandmothers and invite my ancestors into my life, I am led to the flute, to wondrous prayers, to creativity in my writing and my new path as a celebrant. I love the gourd I got - Bear and Butterfly - and I know it is not only the mastery, but the preparation in life and in gourding, the soulfulness imbued in it, the Spirit you beckoned forth...all these things make it glow and I feel them. Thank you for allowing all of this.

  2. Our brief meeting, by chance (if one believes in chances)was quite amazing. I am honored you have one of my gourds, Bears have strong healing energy for me and I have for the last two years been surrounded by butterflies. You ask me that day about why I put them on the gourd together, I didn't have the answer then, it was an easy answer today. :D I'm happy you can recognize the soulfulness that dances on my gourds, I couldn't ask for more! Thank you for sharing your words, my heart smiles. It is a wonderful journey, so happy our paths have crossed.