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.