Gourd and pine needle tree ornaments and vessels

Encinitas, California
| 193 Sales | 5 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars

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Grace Swanson

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Grace Swanson


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5 out of 5 stars
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About GourdsByGrace

Sales 193
On Etsy since 2010

American African is obsessed by Gourds

I am a gourd artist who used to be a watercolor painter. My interest in gourds began as a small child, born and raised in Nigeria. The Nigerian people use gourds for everything from storing food to spoons to holding cosmetics. When I saw a class on gourd art offered by San Diego Botanic Garden eleven years ago I decided to give it a try. The feel and smell of the burning gourd just took me “home”. I was hooked.

I purchase my gourds from Welburn Gourd Farm — uncleaned and uncut. First I soak and scrub farm dirt and the mold off of the gourds. Then I look at each gourd carefully for any flaws or cracks. Each gourd has its own personality and that often dictates what design I will burn into the gourd and whether it will stay whole or become a opened vessel. The mold that forms on the gourds makes patterns that can be used or disregarded depending on the design. Sometimes I have a very definite design in mind when I begin and sometimes I make it up as I goe along. Some gourds may take as little as two or three hours to complete. Others may take days or weeks.

Gourds have taken over my life. My brushes, paints and canvas have been pushed to one side (I was a water color painter for 20 years) as I explore the wonderfully tactile, three dimensional world of gourds. My gourds are sold through the Off Track Gallery located at 937 South Coast Highway 101, Suite C-103 (behind Starbucks), downtown Encinitas, CA 92024 and in person at outdoor shows throughout Southern California (when life gets back to normal). All current gourds available for purchase may be viewed at GourdsByGrace.com. Email swanson121 [!at] cox.net for prices and more information.

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  • Grace Swanson


    I am a gourd and pine needle basket artist. My interest in gourds began as a child — raised in Nigeria. Nigerians use gourds for everything. My gourd art pieces are cut, dremeled, dyed, carved, painted, beaded and finished with a UV acrylic spray.

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Last updated on Jul 3, 2020


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