daMuse is back after an unexpected leave of absence from DAM. A ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances kept me away from posting for a couple of weeks and just as I was about to begin again we were hit by another storm. . .Sandy.
I’m slowly finding a rhythm after several days without power and coping with concern for loved ones in different parts of NY (all are fine now). My thoughts are with all who continue to endure hardship caused by the epic storm.
Today we take a look at Serena Kovalosky’s gourds. The upstate NY artist left a career in the travel industry 15 years ago to become a full time gourd artist – a decision that still sparks conversations, but for Kovalosky, a risk worth taking.
Forest Pod Gourd
gold alloy leaf, woodburned, 5″ x 9″
“The gourd was carved to represent a pod that had released its seeds to the world, and although it seems to no longer have a useful purpose, its gilded interior proves that it still must be honored.”
The gourds are grown in California and need up to 9 months to dry sufficiently before carving can begin.
Mold grows on the gourds during the drying process and creates organic patterns.Once dry, the gourds are scrubbed clean but the patterns and discolorations remain.
Kovalosky often uses these patterns as her starting point for carving and wood burning, never planning, instead allowing the art to emerge as she works.
carved wood, gold alloy leaf, woodburned, 14″ x 9″
Stories by the Sacred Fire
gourd, acrylic paint, gold & silver alloy leaf, woodburned, bamboo, waxed linen, animal hair, 33″ x 26″ x 19″
gold alloy leaf, woodburned, wrought iron, 17″ x 18″ x 16″
gourd, gold alloy leaf, wood stain, wrought iron, 27″ x 11½“ x 11½“
“The dried gourd seeds are still inside and rattle when the piece is moved.”
“I work organically, beginning each piece by holding the raw gourd in my hands for a while. I’ll sit quietly with it, listening carefully to the stories it might offer. Then, like an explorer following an ancient map to locate a hidden treasure, I’ll follow the subtle hints as I move through the creative process. Go here, look there, now do this.”