2016 Teaching Schedule  
Ghost Creek - South Carolina Gourd Festival
Coastal Gourd Sprouts
Hot'lanta Patch
Gourd Gathering at Cheorkee
Pennsylvania Gourd Gathering
Mountain Gourd Gathering

New Classes for 2016
I return to designing gourds using colored pencils
Leather Treasure

Faux tooled leather design on a cannon ball gourd.  This is a pyrography class that uses the skew and ball point burning pens.  The technique was developed in Texas and used extensively on the gourd art of Sylvia Gaines and Hellen Martin.  Sandy Taylor and Troy Tatum teach the technique in Georgia and surrounding areas. 

The Western Faux Leather class project can be completed in 3-4 hours.  It includes applying a pattern, using pyrography to outline and shade the design, removal of the shell, stippling the background, scratching the high-lights with a ball bur, and applying leather & ink dyes. 
Leather Rose 
A non-traditonal faux leather effect depicts roses that are burned and a carved background.  The highlights and stiches are lightly carved and high-lighted with paint.  The background and flowers are enhanced with dye. 
Beginners would carve only the central design - advanced challenge include the rim carving. 
Sun Burst - Chip Carving

This is a fairly complicated design for a beginner.  Be patient while laying out the design.  The gourd can be open or cut - it should not be thin.  The gourd should allow for a 6 inch circle.  The best gouge for the pattern is a flexcut 1/4 #11 U shaped gouge.  We use leather dye to stain the gourd so bring an apron or smock.

Chip Willow - Chip and Figure Carving

Two different sized U gouges (1/8 and 1/4 inch) are used to create the chip surround and willow tree.  The class include only one tree, but more advanced students can try for one on each side of the gourd. 

A New Leaf

This is an intermediate level  carving class.  The pattern is 7 inches by 6 inches.  The gourd can be cut or whole and 1/4 thick or slightly thinner.  
Blowin' in the Wind

This is a pyrography and etching class of oak leaves and wind. 

I grew up in Savannah ,Georgia near the ocean and salt water marshes where my father carried me fishing - He loved to fish and I loved to draw -
so I carve and teach a LOT of saltwater related art.  It's in my blood.

Rising Turtle (ocean sun, rising turtle)

Depicts a turtle swimming toward the sun as seen from under the water's surface.  The Gourd should be at least 1/4 inch thick, at least 6 inches tall, and at least 5 inches of surface width.   A 3" opening in the top of the gourd is best, but larger openings are OK.  There are several different sized patterns of the design to use.

Clown Fish Reef

The Clown fish design appears simple but involves advanced techniques for the Gourders looking for a challenge.  The design includes pyrography, painting, dying, carving (filigree & relief), and a sanded background.


This is an intermediate and advanced course that moves the student toward deep carving techniques.  To fully execute the design requires a 3/8" thick gourd.  A thinner gourd can be used by reducing the number of levels in the relief.
Diving Dolphin

This is the 2014 new beginner class for relief carving
This class uses a smooth sanded background and carved current ridges in the style of Bonnie Gibson's sand ridges (taught with Bonnie's permission).  Beginners can ommit the ridge, but intermediate students will enjoy the challenge.
Old Oak - Using tri-cut rotary chisel
This is a 4 hour technique class that will cover the use of the D-Rotary Chisel and Shaping wheel to create an Old Oak effect. Four different uses of the technique will be demonstrated and a class project begun using the Old Oak Pattern. The carving will involve shell removal, filigree carving, and shape carving. 

The seagrass, advanced filigree, and ocean reef are 6-8 hour technique classes.  You are not likely to finish a project during the class time.

(This is a 6 hour class)

The design is a hand drawn design carved around the gourd.  Five to six hours should allowed for a class to complete the whole design.  The cut opening should be 3" diameter to allow for a votive glass and candle.

This 6-8 hour advanced filigree technique class will include shell removal, relief carving, detail sanding, cutting and finishing shaped filigree, application of gold leaf, and dying/embossing with water based  ink. Two project packets and patterns (butterfly or hummingbird) will be included in the tutorial that the student can use (or they may create their own design.) 

Ocean Reef

This is an advanced relief carving and pyrography class that will require 6-8 hours to complete

You can find information on techniques, tools and sample tutorials on the 

Free Tutorial Links: Gold N Color Peacock - Tutorial   or  Golden Carp - Tutorial
Oak leaves your way

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