LaDeDa Gourds - Karen L Caldwell

LaDeDa Gourds - Karen L Caldwell

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Lagenaria: hard-shell gourds have been cultivated for thousands of years by many cultures for their usefulness as sacred vessels, utensils, storage containers, musical instruments and ornaments.

The plant family - Cucurbitacea contains three major groups: Lagenaria - hard-shell gourds, Cucurbita - Ornamental and edible gourds and squashes and Luffa - Vegetable sponges.

Lagenaria or hard-shell gourds are the gourds that I paint, dye, ink, wax, pyro, carve, sculpt and sell. These gourds have a long growing season and take three to six months, or more, to dry. In the drying process molds feed on the escaping moisture creating the beautiful mottled effect on the gourd surface. After the dried skin and molds are removed with a good scrubbing, the inside of the gourd can be cleaned. Then the fun begins and the gourd can be treated much like wood.

These gourds come in many shapes and sizes and are never boring. They make great birdhouses, bowls, purses, drums, ornaments, jewelry, scoops, maracas, shekeres, and other items limited only by the imagination of the artist.