Gourds by Deborah Arnold
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Peace of Maine
With this gourd, I started by honoring the four directions with a tree in each. I created the "shade effect" by deeply burning each leaf, making them stand out. In between each tree, I placed faded, faraway scenes. I use leather dyes for the color in my work.
When Women Pray
A different piece. There is so much power and strength when women pray that I knew as soon as I held this gourd what it had to be. I cut out the upraised hands of each woman holding onto the other as they pray. It made for a very unique rim. I colored the inside of the gourd black so it gives the look of shadows. Each woman is dressed with a different shawl. The flame coming from the feet of the women represents the power of women coming together to pray.
Most of the women who saw this piece had a very emotional reaction to it. Many started crying when they looked at it.
The opening in this gourd is squared and the pattern matches on all four sides, each piece connecting with the next. The design is burned in and black leather dye was applied. This was sold as a wedding present.
Each day of our lives the sun rises and sets. This gourd speaks to the strength and continuity of that. I used a deep burn around the sun, making the rays stand out.
Be One with the Bear
The Diamonds in this piece are burned very deep so the design really "pops out" to the observer.
The first picture is before I finished the piece with sea grass around the rim.
The darker horses are burned on and colored with dyes, the white horses are carved out.
Each triangle in this gourd is cut out in the center, revealing the inside of the gourd.
Stairway to the Heavens
Deep burning on this piece intensifies the design.
The birch trees are carved out on this piece then carefully burned to give them more depth.
I was working on this gourd when I became ill and had some difficulty with my breathing, hence the name.
The diamond shapes on this design are burned very deeply to highlight the pattern.
Bold, dark greens and bright golds make this a dramatic piece.
Tigereyes are inlaid into this piece, giving it an extra dimension.
I get a lot of requests for Turtle gourds. The turtles on these pieces are about the size of a half-dollar. The close-up image in the middle will give you a good look at the level of detail. The Gourd below shows a Turtle with turquoise chips.
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