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May 27, 2009 > The Magical World of Gourds

The Magical World of Gourds

Submitted By Lucinda Bender

The Fremont Art Association is pleased to announce their June Guest Artist, Jill Walker. Walkers' presentation will include an overview of her journey growing and decorating gourds. The program will start with an exploration of this interesting vegetable whose fruit produces a durable vessel which can be used in a multitude of ways including as an art form. Walker will explain how the newly harvested fruits are cured and dried as well as the preparation necessary before the gourd can be decorated.

The decoration and embellishment of dried gourds is limited only by the imagination of the artist and a willingness to explore new methods and media. Walker will show examples of some of the directions she has taken while working with gourds. She knows you will enjoy hearing about this interesting art form and perhaps be bitten by the "gourd bug."

Jill Walker discovered gourds as a gardener in 1997 and as an artist in 1998. She planted her first gourd crop in the spring of 1997. As the growing season progressed she was increasingly fascinated by the magical fruits developing on an enchanted tangle of 15 foot long vines covered with white blossoms which are pollinated by night-flying insects.

Only after anxiously awaiting the completion of the months-long curing process did she begin to explore the artistic possibilities of this unique organic form. As Walker holds the dried fruit in her hands the gourd begins to speak out and suggest its own possibilities as an art form.

Inspiration for her gourd art design is drawn from studies of how gourds have been used through time both as utilitarian and sacred ceremonial vessels. The work of the ancient people of the world is especially influential in the creative process, but it is the gourd itself that frequently dictates the direction of her creativity, from the initial design applied to the surface through the final embellishment with other offerings from nature such as pine needles, bone, antler, feathers, or seeds from the gourd itself.

Creative elements in each gourd design brings harmony to the finished work of art as working with a gourd brings balance and harmony to her life as an artist. It is Walkers' desire that her creative efforts bring a measure of joy and harmony to your life as you behold the art of the gourd.

As a respected member of the California Gourd Society (, Walker teaches gourd art classes at various festivals and conferences, as well as in her own studio. She has received many awards in state-wide competitions and her work has been shown at the Elemental Arts Gallery in Los Gatos, Marin Art Festival, and gourd festivals. Walker can be reached at

The Magical World of Gourds
Wednesday, June 3
7 p.m.
Fremont Art Association Gallery
37659 Niles Blvd., Fremont

Refreshments will be served

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