I decided to do this issue a little differently and focus on just one of the many types of pyrography, gourd art. As you’ll see, even within this subset of a subset there are a wide variety of gourd art mediums, and as rare as pyrography is as a whole, what the following artists are making is even harder to find and worth paying attention to.
To see an item’s listing on Etsy, click on its photo.
This gourd art made by Barbara Whitbeck of Barbara’s Handcrafts is not only a working electric lamp by night, but also a detailed decorative artwork by day. It not only provides mood illumination, but it also affects the space around it by casting interesting shapes (notice them on the wall in the first photo).
This is the same gourd. I chose it over the many other gourd lamps in Barbara’s shop because I liked it as much whether its light was on or off, though it wasn’t an easy choice. Take a look in her shop and you’ll see why.
Barbara also has gourd bowls, hair clips, keychains, magnets, and even gourd bells in her shop.
This gourd clock is made by Christine Chan Art. What stands out about Christine’s work is her compositional and technical skill on a 3D surface, as well as her attention to detail. Notice how she fills the space on the surface of the gourd, making the negative space as interesting as the shapes of the flowers and bird. And look closely at her colorization. You’ll see slight variations in value and temperature that give depth and texture to what would otherwise be flat shapes. A couple of examples are the individual flower petals that are a little lighter, and the change from warm to cool across each leaf.
Christine also has gourd bowls, lamps, magnets, nightlights and purses in her shop.
The detail on this gourd by Tricia Newell of Arabesque is intense. There are leaves falling off of the trees! Equally as impressive is her skill in shading. There is very little fully charred pure black, but there are many subtle shadows. It’s also worth mentioning that this is a perspective drawing on an organic, 3D shape, which is an ambitious endeavor.
Tricia also sells gourd bowls in her shop.
The first time I saw a listing for one of these I wasn’t sure I read it right. Yes, it really is a gourd purse. This one was made by Jenn Avery of JRA Gourd Art, and there are photos of how it’s used on its listing. What I like about Jenn’s pyrography is how varied it is (some of her gourds have lots of color, others have none at all, some are carved, etc.), and yet she still manages to show so much skill in each style.
Jenn also has gourd bowls, carved gourds, ornaments, pendants, and vases in her shop.
This gourd vase is made by Kristin Johnson of Praisin’ Art. If you look at her shop as a whole you’ll notice that she has a very distinct style, and her works seem to flow with creativity. What I like about this vase is its complexity and cohesiveness of design. Just look at how many different colors and shapes it has on it, and yet they all mesh, something that isn’t easy to accomplish.
Kristin also has bowls, lamps, ornaments, and purses in her shop.