Dallas County

Gourd Vases & Boxes

Ric Wilson’s talent as a jazz and blue grass musician has spilled over to include the intricate detailed art of decorating gourds. This music teacher began using pyrography on gourds very recently and has become enthralled in the ancient art. This naturally waterproof fruit was one of the first containers used by man. Ric honors the historic character of gourds by using accurate, ancient designs for most of his patterns.

A gourd must be harvested after the first freeze. This allows the moisture to escape from the fruit through the outer layer of skin. Otherwise, the gourd would rot from the inside out. Ric obtains his gourds from local growers, while he practices growing his own crop. Once dry, the gourd becomes very hard and can withstand the burning tools that are used. Ric first draws his pattern, and then uses special irons and drills specifically designed for gourd work to burn intricate details. Leather dyes are applied with cotton swabs and tiny paint brushes before the gourd is sealed with varnish, clear lacquer, or clear shoe polish.

Ric’s art is also available at Southern Hub and Kennan’s Mill Blue Grass Festival in Selma.